Denver Hume - Left Back
In his meeting yesterday with the media, Robbie Stockdale mentioned that Denver Hume had trained with the first team all week and was very much in his plans ahead of tomorrow’s game.
It makes sense, really. Marc Wilson is set to depart this summer and was horrific against Fulham, whilst Bryan Oviedo has been letting his mouth go this week in the South American media about leaving the club.
Hume - who turns 22 in August - is at the age now where if he’s going to break into the first team, it has to be now. There won’t be a greater opportunity for him to establish himself at the club with us playing third tier football, and he’s shown over the last few seasons that he’s most definitely one of the better players in our U23s squad.
Whilst he mightn't start the game I think if I had the decision I’d let the Lad have a game to prove his worth. Alright, he’d be up against the best side in the division but what is there to fear? It’s a nothing game and we’ll be looking for a few left backs in the summer.
I’d be right behind giving him a chance to prove his worth whilst bombing out two players that don’t deserve another minute of first-team action, and I’m sure the rest of the supporters in the Stadium of Light will feel exactly the same.
Elliot Embleton - Deep-Lying Playmaker
Another player that Stockdale hinted could be part of the squad is Elliot Embleton, who hasn’t made a first team appearance since coming off the bench in our 2-0 FA Cup defeat away at Middlesbrough.
The County-Durham born prospect received another call-up to the England U19 squad this week ahead of this summer’s European Championships - further solidifying the fact that he’s not only one of the top young players that we possess, but one that has been deemed worthy of international recognition.
Where could he play? Well, it appears that George Honeyman might miss out through injury on Sunday which means we’ll need a number ten to play advanced in front of the middle two - a position that suits him to a tee.
Whether a midfield battle with top quality opposition in Ruben Neves is a step too far for him might be what decides whether he features or not, but with a host of midfield injuries to contend with it’d be nice to see Embleton get the chance to play in his favoured position in front of a home crowd.
Bali Mumba - Central Midfielder/Left Back
Having earned a spot on the bench for our last game away at Fulham, Bali Mumba will be keen to once again get a chance to be around the first team for this weekend’s game.
Mumba has been earmarked as the most talented player currently in Sunderland’s setup and, at the age of 16, it would certainly appear that the club are keen to aid his development as a young player through giving him exposure to the senior setup.
There’s no real pressure on tomorrow’s game and, if things go as expected and Wolves cruise through the game, it might perhaps afford Robbie Stockdale the chance to throw on a couple of the kids later in the game once the pressure is off and the tempo has slowed.
Luke Molyneux - Right winger
If there’s one U23s player that deserves a shot of impressing in the first team based off their performances for our second string this season it’s Luke Molyneux.
The local lad has been a standout performer in Elliott Dickman’s relegated side, and despite suffering a knee injury which kept him out for over three months he returned back to the fold and picked up from where he left off, scoring a number of goals in the run towards the end of the season.
He’s direct, pacy and likes to cut inside and shoot - attributes that I am sure Sunderland supporters would love to witness should he get the chance, perhaps from the bench, to show the home supporters what he’s capable of.
Max Stryjek - Goalkeeper
Will Max Stryjek ever get a chance?
Well... probably not, not this weekend anyways. In fairness to Jason Steele he’s been good in the last two games and whether his future lies here at Sunderland or elsewhere, we’re going to have to give him game-time - if he’s staying it’ll be good for his confidence that he’s played well in the run towards the end of the season, and if he’s leaving it’s probably a good idea that we give him the chance to prove he’s not completely terrible, and that other teams should gamble on him.
Still though, it’d be nice to see Max given a shot to prove his worth. Robbie Stockdale has worked plenty with him in the past and might be persuaded to give the Polish stopper a chance to show what he’s capable of.