Sunderland journalist Phil Smith has relayed an injury update on three Black Cats players ahead of the Wearside club’s Championship clash against West Bromwich Albion.
The Lowdown: Sunderland vs West Brom
Sunderland are back in Championship action on Monday for the first time since an impressive 3-0 win against Millwall last weekend.
A win for Tony Mowbray’s side would put them ten points above the Midlands club, who are currently sat in 21st place in the league table.
Looking ahead to Monday’s showdown, it appears that the Black Cats could be set to see some big players return to action.
The Latest: Smith relays injury update
In a recent Twitter post, The Sunderland Echo’s Smith had this to say following Mowbray’s latest press conference.
“TM says [Alex] Pritchard & [Luke] O’Nien haven’t been training this week but he expects them to be fit Monday. Dan Ballard is in full training and could play in the U21s on Monday.”
The Verdict: Good news for Sunderland
With Pritchard and O’Nien expected to be fit enough to take on the Baggies, this will undoubtedly be good news for Mowbray.
Bearing in mind how Pritchard has scored two goals and delivered three assists in the league this season, having him available on Monday will be a big boost for Sunderland, especially considering West Brom have surprisingly limited opponents to fewer shots (189) than any other side in the division this season.
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O’Nien meanwhile has a higher average of interceptions per game (2.1) than any other player at Sunderland, and will also be a welcome return for Monday as West Brom have the fourth-highest average of possession (56.2%) in the league.
As for Ballard, seeing him get some minutes under his belt for the U21s will definitely help him get back to full fitness and in a good shape to get some more game time in the first team.