Sunderland v Oxford preview
Last Updated: 31/08/18 12:17pm
Sunderland boss Jack Ross will assess summer signings Charlie Wyke and Tom Flanagan before deciding whether to include either of the pair in his matchday squad to take on Oxford.
Neither striker Wyke not defender Flanagan have made their competitive debuts for the Black Cats because of knee injuries but they both returned to first-team training this week.
Ross will therefore run the rule over the two and the Scot also confirmed Dylan McGeouch is in contention to start after impressive cameos off the bench against Gillingham and AFC Wimbledon. Defenders Glenn Loovens (groin) and Adam Matthews are doubtful while winger Aiden McGeady and forwards Duncan Watmore and Jerome Sinclair remain sidelined.
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Oxford midfielder Jamie Hanson may miss out if his appeal against his dismissal in the Carabao Cup victory over Newport in midweek is upheld. Hanson received a straight red card following his challenge on Antoine Semenyo and faces an immediate three-game suspension if the Us fail in their appeal.
Marcus Browne (knee) and Ricky Holmes (back) are doubtful so Shandon Baptiste may retain his starting role in midfield after registering his first senior goal against County on Tuesday. Goalkeeper Simon Eastwood (dislocated finger) and forward Rob Hall (knee) continue to miss out.
Sunderland have only lost one of their last nine games in all competitions against Oxford (W6 D2), a 2-3 defeat in April 1994.
Oxford's last visit to Sunderland resulted in a 0-7 defeat in a second tier fixture, thanks to braces from Michael Bridges, Danny Dichio and Alex Rae, as well as a Michael Gray strike.
Sunderland haven't won four consecutive home league matches since October 2009, when they won four in a row in the Premier League under Steve Bruce.
Oxford United's League One games this season have seen 20 goals scored (six scored, 14 conceded), more than any other team.
Sunderland have won all three of their League One matches when they've fallen behind this season - they'd won just three of the previous 107 league matches they'd gone behind in before this run.