Mike Dodds takes charge as Sunderland face Swansea City at the Stadium of Light on Saturday afternoon

Mike Dodds takes the first game of his second spell in interim charge this season when Swansea City visit the Stadium of Light on Saturday afternoon.

Here's the very latest team and injury news ahead of the game...


Ballard picked up his tenth yellow card of the campaign at Birmingham, meaning he will miss the next two matches due to suspension. Michael Beale confirmed his intention to bring Jenson Seelt into the side and give him a chance in his favoured position, and it would be a major shock if Mike Dodds did not make the same call.

Sunderland have a couple of other suspension concerns, with the cut off period for picking up ten yellows coming at the 37-game mark (the Black Cats have played 33). Luke O'Nien sits on nine, and so is one away from a two-game ban. The other two concerns are Abdoullah Ba and Trai Hume, who have eight and seven respectively.

Return date: Leicester City (H) March 5th


Clarke picked up a knock to his achilles against Huddersfield, and looked in discomfort during much of the Birmingham City defeat. Clarke was fine to play through that game, giving Beale some hope that there was no issue. He has been receiving treatment this week, however, and did not appear to be training with the main group on Wednesday. He is a doubt for Saturday at this stage and it's understood that he may well be facing a slightly longer spell on the sidelines, with an update likely to be offered at the club's pre-match press conference on Friday afternoon.


Styles arrived at the club still recovering from surgery on his appendix, but joined his team mates in full training last week. He almost made the bench for the Birmingham City trip but the coaching staff decided instead to give him a full week to settle and get right up to speed.

That means he should be fully in contention either for a start or the bench on Saturday. It's a boost to Sunderland's depth, having signed him on loan from Barnsley primarily to offer depth at left back given the injury situation in that position. He is also of course very comfortable in a number of midfield roles. To begin with, Styles looks likely to operate at left back with Leo Hjelde having had a significant workload since his January arrival.

Potential return date: Swansea City (H) February 24th


Dack has been absent since suffering a muscle injury on his return to the starting XI in the 1-0 win over Hull City on Boxing Day. Dack was back out doing work on the Academy of Light pitches this week, suggesting he is on track to return next month as recently suggested by Michael Beale.

Potential return date: Norwich City (A) March 2nd


Scans last week confirmed that Roberts has suffered a recurrence of the hamstring injury that kept him out for around a month earlier in the season. As such, he seems highly unlikely to return until after the March international break. After impressing in the first half at Birmingham City last week, that should mean some significant opportunities for Romaine Mundle.

Potential return date: Cardiff City (A) March 29th


Alese has been absent this month after suffering a setback following his successful return to action in January. Speaking last week, Micheal Beale confirmed that the left back is still not yet ready to return to training. He's expected to step up his recovery around the international break next month. Sunderland will hope that Styles and Hjelde allow them to take their time with Alese, conscious that he has missed too much football this season - that he has consistently put the team first over the last year is undoubtedly a factor in that.

Potential return date: Cardiff City (A) March 29th


Cirkin has struggled with hamstring issues and had surgery last month to try and sort the problem for good, sidelining him for three months. He'll be back in training sometime in April, meaning there is significant doubt over whether he'll be able to play a meaningful part in the rest of the Championship campaign. Should Sunderland make the play-offs, then he might be ready to play a decent part in those fixtures.

Sunderland will want to proceed carefully with one of their best young players, to ensure he is back for good and ready to really kick on.

Potential return date: Sheffield Wednesday (H) May 4th


Evans took a significant step in his comeback last week, rejoining full training with the U21 team. The experienced midfielder is expected to make a couple of U21 appearances as he filters back into training with the senior group. As such, he remains at least a few weeks away from being back in contention but he is line to return for the Championship run-in. Sunderland will certainly be grateful for his experience around the dressing room in those pivotal weeks.


Embleton has had truly rotten luck this season, suffering a major thigh injury while on loan at Derby County shortly after completing his comeback from a broken leg. He was then on the brink of making a return in Sunderland's U21 side, only to see the game called off due to a waterlogged pitch. The very next day, he rolled his ankle in a training session. Scans have confirmed that he will be missing for around a month, and will then need to build back up.

The attacking midfielder could yet still feature for Sunderland this season but increasingly the focus will be on making sure he is really ready to hit the ground running in pre season.


Huggins suffered a major knee ligament injury during Michael Beale's first game in charge and is not expected to be fully fit until 2025.

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