Sunderland v Preston preview
Last Updated: 15/03/18 9:26pm
Sunderland keeper Jason Steele will sit out Saturday's Sky Bet Championship clash with Preston through suspension.
Steele was sent off for handling outside his area during last weekend's 1-0 defeat at QPR and January signing Lee Camp is in line to deputise with Robbin Ruiter still recovering from a dislocated finger. Central defender Jake Clarke-Salter is available after completing a three-match ban, but midfielder Jonny Williams has been ruled out for a month with a torn thigh muscle.
Darron Gibson, like Marc Wilson, has returned to training after a groin problem, but remains some way from match fitness, while Tyias Browning, Paddy McNair and Duncan Watmore continue their respective recoveries.
Preston defender Greg Cunningham is a major doubt after picking up a hamstring injury during last weekend's last-gasp 2-1 home defeat by Fulham. Either Calum Woods, who replaced him at half-time, or Josh Earl is likely to stand in if he is not fit. Striker Louis Moult missed the Fulham game through illness, but has since returned to training and is expected to be available.
Midfielders Tom Clarke and Paul Gallagher were unused substitutes after shaking off injuries and will hope to figure in manager Alex Neil's thinking this time around.
This is the first meeting between the teams at the Stadium of Light since December 2006 - David Nugent scored the winner in a 1-0 win.
Preston haven't won back to back away league games at Sunderland since March 1948.
Chris Coleman is averaging 0.85 points per game as Sunderland boss this season, just 0.18 better than his predecessor Simon Grayson managed in his 15 league games in charge (0.67).
Alex Neil's only previous league visit to the Stadium of Light ended in victory for his Norwich side in a Premier League match in August 2015.
Since the start of the 2007/08 season, Sunderland have won 100 league matches - 35 fewer than any other club to have played in the top four tiers of English football in each of the last 11 seasons.
The first halves of Preston's Championship matches this season have seen just 30 goals scored (16 for, 14 against), six fewer than any other Championship team.
We talk about Preston being dark horses and operating under the radar, which is true because we just don't seem to talk about them, such is the good job that they've been doing. I'm going for a Preston win, because it'll take a miracle for Sunderland to get out of the situation they are in now.
Prutton predicts: 0-2 (8/1 with Sky Bet)