Sunderland return to Sky Bet League One action on Saturday when they make the 600-mile round trip to Gillingham.
Little over two weeks after making the trip to Priestfield Stadium for their round one FA Cup tie, the Black Cats are heading south again for an important league encounter.
Frustrated after taking just one point from a home double against Coventry City and Burton Albion, Phil Parkinson’s side will be targeting three points this time round as they look to claw themselves back up the league table.
With just two games ahead of Christmas now, the Lads have it all to do if they are to climb into the play-off places after a disappointing run of form.
Max Power misses out due to suspension but Charlie Wyke and Marc McNulty have returned to training and could be feature in Kent this weekend.
George Dobson is back after serving his one-game suspension, but Lynden Gooch remained sidelined with an ankle injury.
Gillingham, meanwhile, who sit 15th, have hit form of later and have won four of their last six games in all competitions – losing just once in that period.
The Gills have also lost just two of their last nine games, a run which has seen them advance into the third round of the FA Cup after defeating Sunderland and Doncaster Rovers on home soil.
However, Steve Evans’ side’s form in the league paints a slightly different picture as they have won just two their last seven, and only one of their last three at Priestfield.
Scorer of Gills’ match winner the last time Sunderland encounter them, Brandon Hanlan, will be the obvious threat as he sits as their leading scorer with five goals and two assists.
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