Sunderland take on Oxford United in League One this Saturday.
The Black Cats return to league action after a disappointing midweek defeat to League Two’s Oldham Athletic.
Sunderland will be without Jordan Willis due to his patella rupture. Niall Huggins, Denver Hume and Dennis Cirkin are all out with hamstring, ankle and hernia issues.
Aiden McGeady is a doubt after he missed last week’s game due to a recurring injury.
Luke O’Nien will be out for up to nine months after undergoing surgery on his shoulder.
Captain Corry Evans is also a doubt following his warm-up injury before the Cambridge United game.
Oxford currently sit just three points behind their hosts this weekend and with a superior goal difference a win for the U’s would see them leapfrog Sunderland in the table.
Oxford are second in the form table having only losing twice in their previous ten league outings and will probably come into this one expecting to take something back to Oxfordshire.
Despite being unbeaten in their previous three league games, Sunderland fans are still on the fence as to whether their team are on the way up. Saturday’s game will definitely shed more light onto that argument.
The last time these teams met was in April earlier this year as Sunderland won 3-1. That game was played in an empty stadium, however tensions still boiled over between Oxford manager Karl Robinson and Sunderland assistant head coach Jamie McAllister .
With a strong Sunderland crowd and Oxford following expected, it is even more likely these tensions may rise again.
Score prediction: Sunderland 1-1 Oxford United