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Changes expected for Hull trip; Sunderland defender latest to be linked with Newcastle switch

A sequence of dead-rubber fixtures for Sunderland begins this afternoon with a trip to Hull City. David Moyes has decisions to make in who to offer opportunities to for first team run-outs whilst balancing a desire to pick up a little momentum for next season with some good results; Newcastle are said to be pondering a surprise move for a Sunderland full-back and decision day is approaching for the Black Cats' players out of contract in the summer.

Sunderland v Manchester United - Premier League Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Some changes expected for Hull trip

Billy Jones, Jason Denayer and Jack Rodwell are fit to face Hull this afternoon after being ruled out of the relegation-clincher against Bournemouth.

West Bromwich Albion v Sunderland - Premier League
Rodwell, Denayer and Jones missed last week's game
Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Jones had picked up an illness ahead of last Saturday's game at the Stadium of Light whilst Denyer and Rodwell reported for duty with knocks which have presumably healed quickly.

Sebastian Larsson has now served his three-game suspension but Lee Cattermole and Darron Gibson are ruled out.

In his press conference yesterday, David Moyes indicated he has decisions to make about who to play in Sunderland's remaining fixtures. The Black Cats boss intends balancing a desire to win and pick up a little goodwill going into the close season with an eye on offering those who have impressed in the Under-23s this season an opportunity and giving run-outs to those who will be at the club in the Champonship.


Newcastle linked with Sunderland left-back

According to a report in Honduran newspaper Diez, after presumably suffering knock-backs in their supposed interest in Sunderland's Jordan Pickford and Jermain Defoe, Newcastle United have lowered their sites and are interested in a summer swoop for left-back Bryan Oviedo.

Leicester City v Sunderland - Premier League
Bryan Oviedo (R) playing for Sunderland against Leicester in April
Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images

The Costa Rican outlet asserts that its national team's full-back is keen to continue in the Premier League to further his claims for a trip to next year's World Cup.

Building a case for why Rafa Benitez would actually be interested in Oviedo is a little trickier but presumably the Spanish tactician - who is locked in talks with Newcastle owner Mike Ashley over his transfer kitty for next season - is determined to land some budget competition for Paul Dummett and to sell Achraf Lazaar after the Moroccan failed to establish himself at St James Park this season.

Oviedo arrived at Sunderland in January for a combined fee of £7.5m paid to Everton for him and midfielder Darron Gibson.

Sunderland v Burnley - Premier League
Bryan Oviedo and Darron Gibson battling for the ball against Burnley in March
Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

The 27-year-old has proven himself to be a competent if uninspiring full-back in his eight appearances since he was reunited with David Moyes but is likely to miss the remainder of the season with a hamstring injury which has ruled him out of the last three games.


Moyes to decide on player's futures this week

According to reports across the north east press this morning, David Moyes will inform Sunderland's eight players out of contract at the end of the season, who he intends offering a new deal to this week.

John O'Shea, Victor Anichebe, Sebastian Larsson and George Honeyman are the four likely to be offered contract extensions to continue at the club in the Championship with Joleon Lescott, Jan Kirchhoff, Will Buckley and Steven Pienaar likely to be released.

Sunderland v Hull City - Premier League
O'Shea and Anichebe will find out if they are to be offered a new deal after this weekend's trip to Hull City
Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

Pienaar told Sky Sports yesterday that he believes he has another season in English football in him but that repeated injuries have taken their toll. A return home to South Africa to end his career seems likely after the 35-year-old hinted at such in the interview.