Full Sunderland team news for Bristol City clash as Simon Grayson gets a significant boost

Jonny Williams.
Jonny Williams.

Sunderland will be able to call upon Jonny Williams for their crucial home game against Bristol City on Saturday afternoon.

The Welsh midfielder, who missed the 3-3 draw with Brentford due to a hamstring injury, has trained this week as Simon Grayson admits he is as close to fielding his best XI as he has been all season.

Tyias Browning will be missing but otherwise the Black Cats boss has a clean bill of health.

Grayson said: “Tyias Browning we’re probably ruling out for the weekend, Callum McManaman just felt his thigh on Monday but has trained the last two days.

“We’ve got everyone else available, Paddy McNair, Marc Wilson and Jonny Williams have all trained, in terms of the availability we’re probably the strongest we’ve been, it gives us options, strength in depth and hopefully the team we pick on Saturday will go out and win the game.”

Marc Wilson is unlikely to start with Grayson admitting his match fitness is short after three weeks out, but the Irish defender could be selected in the matchday squad.

Another name set to be included in the 18 is Paddy McNair, who will return after a long injury lay-off.

McNair will not start but is likely to make his first senior appearance of 2017 at some point over the next two games.

Grayson said: “He’ll be around the first-team squad, he won’t play on Sunday.

“He won’t start the game – I’ll see where we are in terms of whether he is on the bench – but he has had two weeks training with us, he’s had a bit of game time.

“He’s in a similar situation to Duncan was, in terms of the timescale, we’re not going to be able to get him a full 90 minutes before he is involved in the first-team,” he said.

“But sometimes you just have to bring a player back in because he is a good player who might affect the team. Whether that is tomorrow or on Tuesday, we’ll have to wait and see.”

Grayson also confirmed that Callum McManaman is fit to start the game despite missing training earlier in the week.

His involvement, however, could be linked by how extensively Grayson uses Duncan Watmore, who is still to complete 90 minutes as he works his way back to full fitness.

Grayson said: “He’s pushing, he’s raring to go, and it depends on what system I am going to play.

“I have to be a little bit careful because there’s a game on Tuesday night as well – could Duncan start on Saturday and then again on Tuesday?

“But whatever team I put out will have to show passion, character, and quality to win the match.”

Josh Maja, who pulled out of Sunderland U23s clash with Everton earlier this week, will sit out both senior and youth fixtures this weekend but returns to first team training next week.