Ryan Noble injury leaves Sunderland with no recognised strikers for Fulham clash

The Black Cats endure a personnel crisis ahead of Saturday's game at the Stadium of Light, with Steve Bruce confirming that he will play Stephane Sessegnon up front
Sunderland look likely to be without any recognised strikers ahead of Saturday’s game with Fulham following an injury to Ryan Noble.

It comes as a massive blow to the Black Cats, who were already at crisis point last week, after only 13 first team players were fit enough to train as eight players were forced out with injuries.

Sunderland boss Steve Bruce will now be left without any natural strikers as Noble joins fellow forwards Fraizer Campbell, Asamoah Gyan and Danny Welbeck on the sideline.

Noble was injured playing for Sunderland’s youth team after only 15 minutes, reportedly with a knee problem.

"Noble, unfortunately, would you believe - this sums us up - got injured playing with the youth team," Bruce said.

"We thought we would give him a game because he hasn't played a lot."

Sunderland now look set to start midfielder Stephane Sessegnon up front with support from Steed Malbranque and Jordan Henderson.

"Sessegnon and Malbranque have good experience," Bruce continued. "They are not the biggest, but they will cause a few problems in different ways.

"They caused Wigan all sorts of problems. With Sessegnon's pace and Steed in behind him, they played particularly well last week.

"I haven't got many other options so that's probably what I will go with.

"We haven't got a recognised striker, but we managed to score four last week so you never know."

Earlier on Thursday, Bruce revealed the club were to conduct an investigation into why so many players were being sidelined with injuries.

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