Sunderland-Crystal Palace: Outside chance that Victor Anichebe could make Black Cats bow

Victor Anichebe could figure against Palace
Victor Anichebe could figure against Palace

Fit-again Jermain Defoe will lead the Sunderland attack against Crystal Palace – and Victor Anichebe has an outside chance of being involved for the first time.

Defoe missed the EFL Cup win over QPR in midweek after taking a kick to his calf in the 1-0 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur.

But he returned to training at the Academy of Light yesterday and is set to lead the attack this afternoon.

Sunderland boss David Moyes is also considering including summer signing Anichebe in his matchday squad.

The 28-year-old striker is back training after picking up a slight thigh strain.

The former Everton and West Bromwich Albion forward is yet to make an appearance in a red and white shirt after joining on a free after the summer deadline day.

But Moyes has revealed he could include him on the bench against Alan Pardew’s Palace side.

Another option is to boost his match fitness by including him in the Under-23 side which travels to Liverpool in Premier League 2 on Sunday lunchtime.

“Victor is back and looking better,” Moyes said.

“There is an outside chance I could include him today. I could do. It is a consideration I will need to think about.

“I need to see what else I have got on the bench.

“He could do with playing in the Under-23s to get some minutes and get him some time.”

Jack Rodwell (groin) and Wahbi Khazri (sickness) are also back in contention.

Moyes added: “Jermain has trained. Wahbi is back after a sickness bug. Jack Rodwell trained after a groin strain.

“Jermain had a kick [against Spurs] – I think he will be okay.”

Vito Mannone (elbow), Fabio Borini (thigh) and Seb Larsson (knee) remain long-term absentees.