Sunderland not only lost their nine-match unbeaten run with defeat against Portsmouth on Saturday, but two key players were also forced off through injury too, Joel Lynch and Charlie Wyke.
The pair have both been ever-present recently, with Wyke playing in every match during the recent impressive run and Lynch missing out only three times. Wyke, in particular, has made a huge impact on the team with his strength and work rate in leading the line, drawing defenders towards him which in turn creates space for Lynden Gooch and Chris Maguire to flourish, and that duo have made the most of their opportunities.
Gooch and Maguire now have eight and 15 goal contributions in the league respectively, with recent winners against the likes of MK Dons and Doncaster key to Sunderland surging back up the league table. But losing Wyke at half-time against Pompey was a clear blow, one from which the Black Cats never recovered.
As for Lynch, his departure following a concussion was also the last thing Phil Parkinson needed after having to call upon new signing Bailey Wright to replace the injured Alim Ozturk.
The Black Cats’ boss will be hoping Lynch is fit enough to start against Ipswich, otherwise he could have a patched-up defence taking to the field against a team that has scored 41 league goals this campaign.
However, recent reports (via the Chronicle) suggest Lynch could make a swift comeback as he has been passed clear to play in terms of the head injury he sustained, though he is believed to also have a rib problem.
Wyke, on the other hand, is reportedly more of a doubt after sustaining a shoulder injury, as the medical team is still yet to find out the full extent of the injury.
That problem could have a silver lining, though, in the form of Kyle Lafferty. The Northern Ireland international is still yet to start for his new club since signing in January but he would likely be called upon since Will Grigg hasn’t featured in any of Sunderland’s last nine games.
So, given the fact he’s yet to nail down a regular berth just yet, perhaps this could give him the chance to really force his way into proceedings.
Sunderland fans! Is Wyke’s potential absence likely to benefit Sunderland or cost more points? Tell us how you feel…
Click here to comment on this articleor
Give us feedback on your Football Transfer Tavern experience