Duo Back for Sunderland vs Tottenham, With More on Their Way

Finally, some good news!

Sunderland’s clash with Tottenham brings to an end ten days without more football-inflicted misery on Wearside, and that break has come at the perfect time for David Moyes’ battered troops.

Two incomings and a host of returning stars have made the Academy of Light a busier place this week.

Bryan Oviedo and Darron Gibson have arrived from Everton, although neither were registered in time to feature against Spurs.

The injury table looks slightly less crowded too, with Lynden Gooch returning to under-23 action earlier this week and Steven Pienaar also closing in on a return to action.

Then there’s Sunderland’s African stars.

Lamine Kone, Didier Ndong and Wahbi Khazri all suffered AFCON heartbreak this week, and the former two go straight back into contention. Khazri’s Tunisia were knocked out in the quarter-finals, and he will return to Wearside ahead of Saturday’s trip to Crystal Palace.

Both Kone and Ndong can expect to slot start straight back into the starting eleven.

The concern with Kone is fitness, with the Ivorian left out throughout the tournament, meaning he hasn’t played since the 4-1 defeat to Burnley on New Years Eve.

His return could see him line up alongside John O’Shea to replace the suspended Papy Djilobodji, who begins his four-match suspension. 

Along with Jason Denayer, there is also the option of Joleon Lescott, although the less said about that the better.

The departure of Patrick van Aanholt will likely see Billy Jones move across to left-back, as Javier Manquillo and Donald Love battling it out on the other side.

Ndong’s return will see the midfield options swell, with Seb Larsson and Jack Rodwell also likely to start. Despite being the one positive from the defeat to West Brom last time out, George Honeyman is expected to lose his place in favour of the established trio.

The decision to drop Fabio Borini at the Hawthorns failed to pay off, and he could return to the fold should Moyes decide against the 5-3-2 formation he used that afternoon.

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