Martin O'Neill

Boss on Sweden trip

by Stuart Vose

MON previews Helsingborgs friendly.

Martin O'Neill says Stephane Sessegnon and Ahmed Elmohamady won't travel with the rest of the squad to Sweden this weekend.

The pair recently returned to training but will miss out on Saturday's trip to face reigning Allsvenskan champions Helsingborgs IF.

But all other available players will be under consideration, including John O'Shea, Seb Larsson and James McClean, who are all back in the fold after featuring at Euro 2012.

"That adds a touch more competition," O'Neill said. "We've got three games ahead to concentrate on now.

"One or two might be missing - Sessegnon and Elmohamady were a little bit behind in terms of training.

"They'll get a wee bit more training in over the weekend so that, come Monday or Tuesday, they are really right.

"As for the rest, whoever's fit will be travelling."

Meanwhile O'Neill says his squad can expect a difficult examination at the hands of a Helsingborgs side who swept all before them in Sweden last season, winning an unprecedented domestic treble.

"I'm expecting it to be a really good test for us," said the Sunderland boss, whose team will face Championship clubs Derby and Leicester next week.

"They are halfway through their season and have another Champions League qualifying game coming up.

"I think Helsingborgs will be looking forward to this game, too. It's a perfect test for us leading up to the games in England."