The visitors travel to the Stadium of Light for their third game in a week, after a hard fought loss to Chelsea on Wednesday, with both sides chasing all three points
Gardner, O'Shea, Cuellar, Richardson
Larsson, Cattermole, Colback, McClean
Mariappa, Gorkss, Pearce, Harte
McAnuff, Gunnarsson, Guthrie, McCleary
Sunderland boss Martin O'Neill is without injured Phil Bardsley, who faces a long spell out after ankle surgery, while James Vaughan (hernia) and Wes Brown (ankle) are both unlikely to be fully fit in time for Saturday's clash, though the latter may make enough of a recovery to be among the substitutes.
Adam Johnson, Danny Rose and Steven Fletcher have all been linked with moves of some kind to the Stadium of Light, however it is doubtful that any deals will be done in time for the players to feature against Reading.
Louis Saha came off the bench in the Black Cats' opening league game with Arsenal and may be given the chance to impress from the off this weekend, in what would be the hosts' only change, with Stephane Sessegnon and Fraizer Campbell the manager's other options up top.
Brian McDermott faces a bit of a selection dilemma, on the one hand he won't want to change his squad around too much after a valiant effort from his players saw them unlucky to lose 4-2 to Chelsea on Wednesday evening, however, with the trip up north their third match in a week, he may be forced into making a couple of changes.
The Reading boss has Jason Roberts available again after serving the final part of a three match suspension in the clash with the Blues, he is likely to start on the bench on Saturday with Pavel Pogrebnyak again in line to start as a lone striker, but the likes of Brynjar Gunnarsson, Nicky Shorey, Adrian Mariappa, Adam Le Fondre and Roberts could come in.
Jimmy Kebe, who is suffering with a hamstring injury, is still sidelined for the Royals but the newly-promoted side have no fresh injury doubts.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Sunderland is without a win in nine Premier League matches, drawing six, most recently 0-0 with Arsenal, and losing three.
- O'Neill's men recorded the highest number of tackles of any side in the opening round of games this season, putting in a mighty 28 challenges as they kept the Gunners at bay. But its total of three shots (excluding blocked efforts) was the worst of all teams.
- While the Black Cats have been reasonably solid at the back they have failed to score in six of their last eight league fixtures, possibly a big reason for their pursuit of Wolves' Steven Fletcher, who is nearing a move to the north-east.
- Arsenal and Manchester United are the only two teams that have managed to take all three points home from the Stadium of Light, in the Premier League, since O'Neill took charge.
- However, Reading proved last season that it is not to be underestimated on its travels, picking up 42 points on the road in the Championship, only bettered by West Ham (45).
- Pogrebnyak (pictured) headed the Royals level in their last league tie, which they eventually lost 4-2 to Chelsea. Of the nine attempts the former Fulham has managed on target in his Premier League career so far, he has netted with seven.
- Staying with the upper part of the anatomy, McDermott's men scored the highest percentage of headed goals in the Championship last term (30%), with Saturday's opponents Sunderland conceding the most (28%) in their top-flight campaign.
- Le Fondre has found the net six times in his last seven league games, three of which have been in the 90th minute, including an equaliser against Stoke on the opening day this season.