Sunderland boss Phil Parkinson will turn to his big guns once again for Saturday’s FA Cup first-round clash with Sky Bet League One rivals Gillingham.
Parkinson left Denver Hume, Joel Lynch, Jordan Willis, Max Power, George Dobson, Aiden McGeady, Luke O’Nien and Will Grigg out of his starting line-up for Tuesday night’s disappointing Leasing.com Trophy defeat by Leicester’s Under-21s, and is likely to restore most, if not all, at the weekend.
Defender Alim Ozturk limped out of that game with a hamstring problem and is a major doubt, while goalkeeper Lee Burge is unlikely to make it after missing the last three games with a hip flexor injury.
Midfielder Lynden Gooch and striker Charlie Wyke both continue to work their way back from ankle problems, and Elliot Embleton has suffered a setback in his recovery from hamstring damage.
Gillingham manager Steve Evans has no significant selection problems ahead of the trip to Wearside.
Defender Lee Hodson and midfielder Ben Pringle are back in contention after recovering from groin and hamstring injuries respectively.
Both made the matchday 18 for last Saturday’s 3-0 league home defeat by Rotherham, but neither made it off the bench.
The Gills have won just one of their last six games in all competitions, but are unbeaten in their last three away fixtures at Portsmouth, Shrewsbury and Accrington.