Team news: Wyke back for Boxing Day

Josh Maja is one of several doubts for Sunderland’s Boxing Day clash with Bradford City, but Charlie Wyke is raring to go.

The Lads’ top scorer was an unused substitute at Fratton Park on Saturday, with Jack Ross opting against risking the striker due to a bout of illness.

Wyke, meanwhile, has played just three league games so far this season, with two knee injuries restricting his involvement.

But after returning to training in recent weeks, the summer signing is set to return to face his former club.

"Josh is seeing the doctor this morning, it's a sore throat and fluey symptoms,” said the Sunderland manager.

"We've got a few players who fall into the doubtful category, but who have not been ruled out – that list would include Adam Matthews, Tom Flanagan, George Honeyman, and Josh.”

He continued: “Charlie is going to be in the squad, which is brilliant, and he played 90 minutes of a bounce game on Friday and did really well.

"He is desperate to get back involved, and I think at the back of his mind he wanted to travel to Portsmouth at the weekend.

"But he will be back in the squad on Wednesday and, all being well, that is him back now – although we will have to try and ease him in to an extent.

"Charlie is an out-and-out centre-forward and he gives us a physicality that no other player gives us, and he is proven in this league.

"I'm loathe to say he gives us an out-ball because he is a better player than that, but he does give us something extra.

"He looks fitter now than when he came back earlier in the season because we have been more patient this time round.

"He is a good character and I think he feels slightly guilty at coming here and not contributing so far, so he is determined to put that right."

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