There is mixed injury news for Sunderland ahead of their clash with Bournemouth on Saturday, with Duncan Watmore absent as Adam Johnson and Steven Fletcher return.
The England under-21 international has featured from the bench for the Black Cats in four of their last five matches, but it is understood that it will be highly unlikely that Watmore will make the trip to the Vitality Stadium this weekend, after illness kept him out of training for the week.
Manager Dick Advocaat confirmed that Watmore “came down ill” on Wednesday, with Tottenham Hotspur loanee DeAndre Yedlin expected to take the winger's place on the bench for his potential debut, after he was unavailable in his parent club's 1-0 victory at the Stadium of Light last Sunday.
Johnson and Fletcher return
A big boost for Advocaat will be the return of Adam Johnson, the midfielder having been out of action since the opening day defeat to Leicester City after suffering a shoulder injury.
The former Middlesbrough and Manchester City man returned to full training at the beginning of the week and he is very much back in the Dutchman’s plans for Saturday’s clash.
Striker Steven Fletcher is also available for selection after he missed last week’s defeat against Mauricio Pochettino’s side, the Scottish international picking up a knock whilst away with his country earlier this month.
Number of absentees
Watmore isn’t the only absentee from the side, with fellow youngster Tom Beadling expected to be out for two months after suffering a broken ankle and defender Adam Matthews, who signed from Celtic this summer, is around four weeks away from being back in contention due to an ankle injury.
Sunderland searching for first win
Advocaat will be desperate for his side to get their first three points of the campaign, as their failure to win any of their opening five matches of the season has left them joint-bottom of the standings - only the fact that they have scored more goals than fierce rivals Newcastle United is keeping them off the foot of the table.
Bournemouth will host Sunderland on Saturday 19 August, with kick off at 3 PM BST.