We took the international break as a perfect opportunity to ignore all things Sunderland for a little bit. It's a little tiring being so terrible. However, football returns and that break brings fresh, misdirected optimism for the visit of Queens Park Rangers tomorrow.
I'm not really sure why I feel any degree of confidence going into tomorrow, perhaps it's the lack of injuries, perhaps it's just what comes with being daft enough to follow Sunderland. The bookies, typically and with reason, don't fancy us. Perhaps it's worth using a decent football betting tips service such as SBAT before being coaxed by such decent odds for the Lads. Simon Grayson will soon have an influx of players previously not available for selection, unfortunately none UEFA Champions League standard mind! Paddy McNair made his comeback for the under 23s, though is not expected to be involved tomorrow. Josh Maja and Lewis Grabban are both close to comebacks. The duo would provide welcome depth to our threadbare attack.
The goalkeeper situation remains up in the air with Grayson regularly switching between the uninspiring Jason Steele and the unimpressive Robbin Ruiter. Steele has been preferred in the last couple of matches, but with Sunderland conceding seven it would be no surprise to see the Dutchman start once more. Grayson needs to make his mind up sharpish as it can't be much of a confidence builder for a goal keeper to be dropped every two games.
Bryan Oviedo is likely to be ready for action despite arriving back late after helping Costa Rica qualify for the FIFA World Cup. Assuming Grayson sticks with four at the back, it's between Adam Matthews and Billy Jones at right back. Matthews has been a makeshift left back in recent games and is likely to lose out to Jones. Between the two full backs will almost certainly be Marc Wilson, though his partner at centre back could be any of John O'Shea, Lamine Kone and Ty Browning. After international success, personally I'd plump for O'Shea. In midfield Didier Ndong is certain to start and most likely alongside Lee Cattermole. Jonny Williams, who didn't have as enjoyable time in FIFA's big competition. is likely to complete the central trio.
Up top Sunderland are limited in options with James Vaughan the only viable option as centre forward. Duncan Watmore should now be ready to start, and hopefully he does instead of Gorge Honeyman with Aiden McGeady completing the Sunderland starting 11.