Sunderland vs Luton preview
Last Updated: 11/01/19 2:25pm
Sunderland manager Jack Ross could welcome four players back into his first-team squad for the home clash with promotion rivals Luton.
Bryan Oviedo, Adam Matthews, Ethan Robson and Glenn Loovens returned to training on Thursday ahead of Saturday's game at the Stadium of Light.
Ross will monitor how the quartet react before deciding whether to include them in the squad, which will also feature new loan signing Jimmy Dunne. Defender Dunne took part in training following his arrival from Burnley, but forward Jerome Sinclair has returned to Watford after his loan spell ended.
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Mick Harford will take temporary charge of Luton against his hometown club after former manager Nathan Jones moved to Stoke earlier this week. Goalkeeper Marek Stech is missing with a groin injury and Harry Cornick is a doubt with the ankle problem which saw him miss the FA Cup tie against Sheffield Wednesday.
Dan Potts is fit after a groin injury but Glen Rea is out for the season after suffering knee ligament damage and Jorge Grant has returned to Nottingham Forest after his loan was terminated. However, midfielder George Thorne should be in the squad after signing on loan from Derby.
Sunderland are unbeaten in their last six league games against Luton (W4 D2), although they'll be hosting them at the Stadium of Light in a league matche for the first time since December 2006.
Luton are looking to win away at Sunderland in the league for the first time since September 1973, failing to do so in their last 13 visits (D4 L9).
Sunderland are yet to lose at the Stadium of Light this season (P12 W7 D5 L0); they last went 13 home league games without defeat from the beginning of a league season in 1988-89.
Luton's 13-match unbeaten run in the league is their best in the Football League since February 2005 (14 games without defeat).
Luton have won 94% of their league matches after going ahead at any stage this season (15/16 - drawing the other), the best ratio in League One, although opponents Sunderland have won more games after falling behind (four) than any other side in the division.
This is a big game in Sky Bet League One as third hosts second at the Stadium of Light, although the context of it has changed completely since the shock departure of Luton boss Nathan Jones to Stoke in midweek.
Jones had done a brilliant job there and they haven't lost since mid-October. If he was still in the dugout, I may have fancied a different result, but without him there, I can only see a Sunderland win.
David Prutton predicts: 2-1 (17/2 with Sky Bet)