Martin O'Neill looks set to take a reasonable squad to Histon this coming Monday night for a friendly.
There hasn't been anything confirmed by Sunderland yet, but Histon manager Dennis Greene seems very confident it's going to happen, and is unlikely to go on record in such a way unless things were confirmed;
I've been speaking to Martin since last year about a friendly. He phoned me up the other day and said he'd finally got a date for me.
I played for him at Wycombe and he always tries to help out whenever he can.
He's bringing a lot of the lads that went on the tour with him. There were some young lads in that, but they're proper players, so hopefully he'll bring a good group with him.
It would suggest then that some of the younger players who missed out in Korea, such as Billy Knott might be in line for a game, while players recovering from injury or playing catch-up such as Phil Bardsley and Matt Kilgallon could use the game to get further match fitness.
It remains to be seen whether or not this will be Sunderland or a "Sunderland XI" but if O'Neill is there, I'd have thought it would be safe to class it as a first team fixture, even if it is only days after a trip to Hartlepool United.
Remaining Preseason Games
Friday 27th July - vs Hartlepool United, Kick Off 7:30pm - Victoria Park, England
Monday 30th July - vs Histon, Kick Off TBD - Glass World Stadium, England
Wednesday 8th August - vs Derby County, Kick Off 7:45pm - Pride Park, England
Saturday 11th August - vs Leicester City, Kick Off 3:00pm - King Power Stadium, England