Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce will rest some of his key men for Saturday’s FA Cup third round trip to Arsenal as he attempts to manage a cluttered fixture list.
Allardyce has indicated that at least one of his youngsters - keeper Jordan Pickford and defender Tom Beadling seem the most likely candidates - will start at the Emirates Stadium, but was not naming names.
The Black Cats will once again be without defenders Younes Kaboul (hamstring) and Adam Matthews (foot), and midfielders Sebastian Larsson (knee) and Jack Rodwell (hamstring), while new signing Jan Kirchhoff will not be involved as he awaits international clearance.
Provisional squad: Mannone, Pantilimon, Pickford, Jones, Yedlin, Van Aanholt, T. Robson, O’Shea, Coates, Brown, Beadling, M’Vila, Cattermole, Gomez, Johnson, Lens, Toivonen, Borini, Fletcher, Defoe, Watmore, Graham, Gooch.
Alexis Sanchez will not be risked for Arsenal’s FA Cup third-round clash with Sunderland on Saturday.
The forward is still recovering from a hamstring injury and has been pencilled in for a return at Stoke on January 17.
Manager Arsene Wenger could make changes for the visit of the Black Cats, with club captain Mikel Arteta pushing for a start having overcome a calf issue, while Jack Wilshere (leg), Francis Coquelin, Danny Welbeck, Santi Cazorla and Tomas Rosicky (all knee) are missing.
Provisional squad: Cech, Ospina, Monreal, Gibbs, Koscielny, Gabriel, Mertesacker, Bellerin, Debuchy, Chambers, Ramsey, Flamini, Arteta, Ozil, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Reine-Adelaide, Iwobi, Campbell, Walcott, Giroud.