This weekend Sunderland take on Helsingborgs over in Sweden in a friendly. the game is set to feature many of the players who missed out after an extended international break - the likes of John O'Shea, James McClean and so forth all look likely to get significant playing time, however we will be without two of our international contingent.
Stephane Sessegnon and Ahmed Elmohamady will not make the trip, after it was revealed today they'd have visa issues getting into the country, as Martin O'Neill explained;
They'd need a visa which meant missing a day's training - they'd have to collect them in person down in London, so we decided to leave them out. They won't miss a day's training.
It would be quick, easy, and foolish to suggest that this is in any way bad planning by Sunderland - the game was taken at very short notice, and if it means we're without the two for the game then so be it.
On the plus side, it gives Elmohamady a little more time to hopefully secure a much talked about move away from the club, with Hull City still apparently interested while West Ham United's early interest appears to be fading.
As for Sessegnon, I'm sure we would all love to see him in action, but on the plus side he's such a crucial element of our side, this is another game where we know at least he won't get injured. Also, a has been explained by O'Neill, he's missing through visa issues - not pursuing a move elsewhere as no doubt some tabloids will jump upon when they realise he hasn't made the trip.