Sunderland v Burton preview
Last Updated: 20/04/18 11:10am
Sunderland boss Chris Coleman hopes to have Adam Matthews, John O'Shea and Billy Jones available for Saturday's clash with fellow relegation battlers Burton.
The defensive trio trained on Thursday and are in contention for the game at the Stadium of Light but Bryan Oviedo is set to miss out.
Coleman is already without the services of Donald Love, Lynden Gooch and Joel Asoro for the remaining three games of the season. And the Welshman also does not expect Jonny Williams to feature, with the midfielder sidelined since March due to a quad injury suffered at QPR.
Burton will be without top scorer Lloyd Dyer for the bottom-of-the-table clash and manager Nigel Clough will assess the fitness of several other players. Dyer has failed to recover from the hamstring injury he suffered in the 5-0 loss against Hull, which also ruled him out of last week's win at home to Derby.
Tom Naylor, Damien McCrory, Marvin Sordell and Tom Flanagan also missed the 3-1 success and decisions about their availability will be made closer to kick-off. Ben Turner and Kyle McFadzean will be assessed after picking up knocks against Derby but Darren Bent is fit to return to the squad and potentially face his former club.
Sunderland and Burton's only previous meeting was in November, with the Black Cats winning 2-0 at the Pirelli Stadium.
Nigel Clough has only faced Chris Coleman away from home once previously as managers - a 1-0 win for Derby at Coventry City's Ricoh Arena in April 2010.
Should Sunderland suffer relegation this weekend, they will become the first team to spend 10 consecutive seasons in the top-flight and then embark upon consecutive relegations to the third tier.
Sunderland have kept the fewest clean sheets in the Championship this season (5). In fact, no side in England's top four tiers has kept fewer shutouts in league competition (level with Barnet, Bournemouth, Stoke and Northampton).
Burton have lost just two of their nine previous Championship matches against teams starting the day in the bottom three (W4 D3), although one of those defeats was against Sunderland in November.
Lucas Akins has been directly involved in a higher share of Burton's league goals this season than any other player (30%).
Both of these sides are still likely to go down this season but if either still have any hopes of survival then they must win at the Stadium of Light on Saturday.
Sunderland will be so frustrated. They've led in their last three games but been pegged back every single time to draw, while Burton gave themselves a glimmer by beating Derby last time out. I think this will be another win for the Brewers.
David Prutton predicts: 0-1 (10/1 with Sky Bet)