Young Black Cats face fellow high-flyers on Saturday.
Sunderland’s under-18 side travel to Liverpool on Saturday as the Barclays U18 Premier League season enters its final third.
The young Black Cats lie third in the northern group and, with only the top two sides progressing to the semi-finals, they’ll hope to close the gap on second-placed Everton to seven points with a win against the Toffees’ Merseyside rivals, Liverpool.
Martin Smith, Lynden Gooch and Tom Beadling have all made the step up to the development squad in recent weeks, though they should all be available as the under-18’s look to build on their Wear-Tees derby success over Middlesbrough last weekend.
Kick-off at Melwood is at 12.30pm and a full report will follow the conclusion of the game on safc.com.