Sunderland v Portsmouth: early team news ahead of Stadium of Light fixture

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Pompey new-boy Jordi Hiwula will be in the squad for tomorrow’s trip to Sunderland.

The former Coventry front man will have had two days training with his new Blues team-mates by the time the match has kicked off.

But his lack of game time in recent month means it’s highly unlikely he’ll start.

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Hiwula will replace Alfie Stanley on the bench, though, with the youngster having returned to Bognor on loan.

Fellow forward Ellis Harrison remains sidelined with a hamstring injury.

Meanwhile, manager Kenny Jackett must decide whether to stick with the same XI that started Tuesday night’s victory over Gillingham.

One possible change could see Ben Close come in for Ryan Williams in order to give the Blues an extra body in midfield.

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Like Pompey, the Black Cats have added to their squad this week, after they announced the signing of free agent Callum McFadzean on Thursday.

Pompey midfielder Ben ClosePompey midfielder Ben Close
Pompey midfielder Ben Close

The left-wing-back joins after leaving Plymouth in the summer and will likely be in the Sunderland squad for the visit of the Blues.

Manager Phil Parkinson welcomed back some of his defensive options this week, with a mini-crisis averted.

Jordan Willis missed the midweek game against Crewe with a bruised foot, while Tom Flanagan was only fit enough to be named among the substitutes as he picked up an ankle injury while on international duty with Northern Ireland.

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Both defenders, however, have resumed normal training and are in contention to start against Pompey.

Loan arrival Dion Sanderson has also trained this week following his arrival from Wolves.

He had a groin niggle upon his arrival but the Premier League side have asked Sunderland to integrate him into action slowly.

Both Arbenit Xhemajli and Morgan Feeney remain on the sidelines.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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