Wolverhampton Wanderers v Sunderland
Barclays Premier League;
Sunday 4 December;
Wolves midfielders Stephen Hunt and Jamie O'Hara have returned after one-match bans kept them out of last week’s loss to Chelsea. Captain Karl Henry picked up his fifth booking in that fixture and so will miss out.
Kevin Doyle and Richard Stearman are expected to shake off knee and wrist injuries respectively.
Sunderland defender Titus Bramble is in line for a recall after a knee injury has sidelined him since September.
Sebastian Larsson will be making his 200th career league appearance, should he play.
McCarthy: Beware managerless Sunderland
Wolves manager Mick McCarthy believes Sunderland being without a manager has made his side’s task even tougher.
Steve Bruce was sacked this week after Sunderland’s hierarchy lost patience with his expensive under-performing side.
McCarthy believes that the presence of Sunderland’s expected new manager, Martin O’Neill, in the stands, the Black Cats players will be out to impress.
“I can't put any more onus on this game with Manchester United next up for us. We are level on points with Sunderland, and both of us having a tough time,” said the Wolves boss.
"One of the clubs has lost their manager so we can't dress this up as anything else than a really big, important game.
"Maybe that has been made slightly tougher because of Steve going and there is generally a response if normal service is resumed.
"If Martin O'Neill is sat in the stand, they will be running around like scalded cats trying to impress,” he quipped.
"It has not made my job any easier. Maybe it has put a bit more pressure on my team and us to play well and it might make it a little bit harder.
"But we've got to concentrate on what we do and our performance. That is the important thing, concentrating on the performance, not looking at the result or what anyone else is going to do."
McCarthy has also expressed sympathy with Steve Bruce after his axing, stating he has a good relationship with the former Manchester United captain.
He said: "I've spoken to Steve. He is like any one of us who ends up losing a job. You are always disappointed.
"Let me tell you, you've always got a sense it is coming as well. I think if you do get that sense it is coming, and the crowd are on to you, it is almost a relief sometimes.
"Steve wanted to carry on and finish the job he started. Listen, he is a bit like me, he is a pragmatic guy, it's happened, he will crack on and he'll raise his head somewhere else and be a success.”
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