WES Brown and Adam Johnson are both expected to be available for Sunderland’s trip to Liverpool tomorrow.
Centre-half Brown was not risked in Wednesday night’s defeat to Manchester City after suffering a knock in last weekend’s draw against Chelsea, which had kept him out of training.
Replacement Sebastian Coates struggled against the exceptional Sergio Aguero, but with the on-loan Liverpool man ineligible to face his parent club tomorrow, Brown will resume his defensive partnership with John O’Shea.
Winger Johnson should also be back in the fold after missing the clash against his former club with a thigh injury, while on-loan Inter Milan midfielder Ricky Alvarez is in contention to start following his return from injury as a second half substiute on Wednesday.
“We’ve got Wes Brown fit 100 per cent which is great,” said Sunderland boss Gus Poyet.
“Of course, Sebber Coates is not available so Wes is going to be back.
“Probably Jonno will be back as well.
“Ricky returned the other night too and he has that ability on the ball.”
Striker Steven Fletcher is a doubt for the trip to Anfield after limping off against City with a back problem, following a heavy challenge from Dedryck Boyata.
But regardless of the Scottish international’s fitness, Poyet plans to introduce fresh faces tomorrow after Sunderland looked heavy-legged against the reigning Premier League champions.
Despite the 4-1 loss ending Sunderland’s four-game unbeaten run though, Poyet says the Black Cats shouldn’t be too despondent heading to Anfield after an impressive display from City.
“I think we need to refresh the team, no doubt,” added Poyet.
“There are some players who need to step up and give us a hand in terms of legs.
“We need to be calm and try to go to Liverpool and get the three points.
“We need to improve dramatically technically from Manchester City. But we need to keep believing in what we do.
“We’ve just played against the champions and they had Aguero on good form. You have to accept that.”