Sunderland manager Phil Parkinson has been handed a boost for the upcoming League One tie with Oxford United, who reportedly have seven first team players unavailable.
The opening weekend did not prove to be a good one for the Black Cats, struggling to a 1-1 draw with Bristol Rovers at the Stadium of Light.
Chris Maguire was on the scoresheet for the Wearsiders in the final 10 minutes to earn the home side a point but George Dobson was sent off in added time to hand Parkinson much to ponder as his team approach Saturday’s game with Oxford.
Oxford, who narrowly missed out on promotion last term, lost their opening League One game of the season 2-0 to Lincoln City.
Manager Karl Robinson has been hit with a major setback heading into Saturday’s game against Sunderland, with seven players said to be unavailable.
Matty Taylor, Josh Ruffels, Sam Winnall and Mark Sykes are all on Robinson’s injury list, whilst Alex Gorrin and Jamie Hanson are unavailable. A seventh player in Robert Atkinson is also ruled out after being sent off against Lincoln at the weekend.
With such injury problems at Oxford and their defeat to Lincoln last weekend, that should hand Sunderland a substantial boost in their quest for their first league win of the new season against depleted and potentially demoralised opponents.
However, predicting Sunderland’s results at the moment is a guessing game, considering that the late salvage mission against Bristol Rovers came just four days after an 8-1 thumping of Aston Villa’s under-21s in the EFL Trophy.
Do you think Sunderland can secure all three points this weekend? Let us know your predictions in the comments section below…
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