Sunderland have been handed a major boost as four key players are set to return from injury ahead of their crucial clash with Southampton.
It is expected that Fabio Borini, Ola Toivonen, Younes Kaboul and John O'Shea will all make a return for the visit of Ronald Koeman’s side.
Borini (ankle), O’Shea (hamstring), Toivonen and Kaboul (groin) all missed last week’s 6-2 drubbing away to Everton as the quartet were not able to train throughout the week.
However all four trained at the Stadium of Light on Thursday which puts them in good contention of playing against the Saints on Saturday afternoon.
Manager Sam Allardyce confirmed their return saying that the quartet had trained and it was “good news” and news that helps in “strengthening the squad” ahead of a difficult battle with the Saints.
One big loss will be the absence of captain Lee Cattermole after he was forced off last Sunday against Everton with a groin problem which had troubled him for several weeks.
However Allardyce is hopeful that Cattermole will be ready to return when they take on Crystal Palace after the two-week international break.
Allardyce confirmed his absence saying that he “won’t make” this weekend and that the international break will “do him good”.
Allardyce has informed that players should forget about earning new contracts until the Wearsiders have managed to pull themselves away from the relegation zone.
The club currently still sits 19th in the table with one victory to their name so far and Allardyce believes it is “too early” to dish out new contracts considering “the position” they are in.
It also seemed that Allardyce showed that some senior players on Wearside have a point to prove as he said if a senior player is out of contract they have to “prove something” and be “worthy of a new contract.”
Sunderland will play Southampton at the Stadium of Light on Saturday 7 November with kick-off at 3PM BST.