What Sunderland’s starting XI and bench could look like when everyone is available.
Sunderland still have several players unavailable due to injury setbacks - but what could the squad look like when everyone is fit?
The Black Cats moved back up to sixth in the table with a 3-1 win over Birmingham before the international break, meaning they’ve taken seven points from their last three matches.
That is despite several long-term injuries, with some players stepping up their recoveries after months on the sidelines.
Here’s what Sunderland’s starting XI and bench could look like when everyone is available:
1. GK: Anthony Patterson
Patterson has started every Championship fixture since Sunderland were promoted back to the second tier last year. Photo: Frank Reid
2. RB: Trai Hume
After establishing himself as Sunderland’s first-choice right-back last season, Hume has started every league game for the Black Cats this term. Photo: Frank Reid
3. CB: Luke O’Nien
O’Nien had played every minute of every league game for Sunderland this season before serving a one-match suspension against Birmingham for picking up five yellow cards. The 28-year-old has captained the side this season with Corry Evans still out injured. Photo: Frank Reid
4. CB: Dan Ballard
Like O’Nien, Ballard had started every Championship fixture before missing the Birmingham match following his fifth booking of the season. The defender has even chipped in with two goals this campaign. Photo: Frank Reid