Wahbi Khazri and Lamine Kone to be fit for West Bromwich Albion game

Wahbi Khazri and Lamine Kone are expected to be fit for Sunderland's next Premier League game this Saturday.

Wahbi Khazri and Lamine Kone to be fit for West Bromwich Albion game
Khazri and Kone, pictured celebrating a goal together, should be back for the weekend (photo: getty)

Wahbi Khazri and Lamine Kone are expected to be fit for Sunderland's Premier League game with West Bromwich Albion on Saturday, despite not playing for their countries during the international break.

The source of their injuries

Neither Kone or Khazri have featured for their respective countries, Ivory Coast and Tunisia, because they picked up knocks in the Tyne Wear Derby draw on March 20.

Therefore, both remained at the Academy of Light to recover from their injuries instead of making the long journey to Africa to represent their nations.

Khazri's seemed the more serious after he was forced off against Newcastle United with a hamstring injury, however allowing the attacking midfielder to stay on Wearside instead of playing so soon again means he should be ready to go for the crucial West Brom clash. Meanwhile, Kone simply stayed at the club as a precaution with a similar looking injury.

Khazri stretches against Newcastle (photo: zimbio)
Khazri stretches against Newcastle (photo: zimbio)

Other concerns 

It will be even more important for Kone to be fit for the game against the Baggies, with Sam Allardyce's other main injury concern being for another central defender - in the form of Younes Kaboul.

Kaboul has had an injury hit campaign since his summer transfer with both hamstring and ankle issues, however him and Kone have formed a good partnership in the last two games.

Much like Khazri, Kaboul had to leave the field at St James Park before the end of the match, he was replaced by John O'Shea. The Republic Of Ireland international was picked in Martin O'Neil's squad, but was not an active substitute for their friendly with Switzerland, despite not being injured. 

Apart from those mentioned above, there are not too many concerns for Allardyce other than hoping the players away on international duty come back later this week with no fresh issues.

Meanwhile on the positive side of things, recent free agent signing Emmanuel Eboue is an option having got some minutes under his belt in the behind closed doors friendly with Middlesbrough

Kone and Khazri's importance

Most fans would most likely agree that if Sunderland are to pick up a vital win against Tony Pulis' side on Saturday, they will need two of their January signings starting the match. Their points return alone shows that with Khazri getting goals and assists, while Kone acts like a rock at the back, Sunderland have been a better team since they arrived and will be the key to another escape from relegation.