Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce hopeful over striking duo

Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce and Jermain Defoe

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Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce is hopeful that both Jermain Defoe and Fabio Borini will be fit to face Stoke at the Stadium of Light on Saturday.

Former Tottenham frontman Defoe scored the winning goal in the Black Cats’ 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace on Monday, but he was forced to leave the action early after injuring his ankle in the closing stages at Selhurst Park.

It was feared the 33-year-old had damaged ankle ligaments but Allardyce has now allayed those concerns and is hopeful the experienced striker will be fit to face the Potters this weekend.

He said: “[Jermain] is not as bad as first feared. He has every chance of being available for Saturday’s game against Stoke.”

Fellow forward Borini missed the game in south London with a persistent ankle knock that has also forced him to sit out the recent matches against Everton and Newcastle.

The Italian, who is in his second spell with the Black Cats, is yet to score for the club this season, but Allardyce is hopeful that the striker will be ready to play some part in the match against Mark Hughes’ side.

He continued: “Fabio was training before Monday’s game – he came on as a sub against Southampton but had a problem with the injury again – but because of his lack of training with the squad we felt it would be the right thing to leave him behind.”

“That way he could get more and more training in before we consider him back into the squad.”

Sunderland are available at 3.10 to secure only their third league win of the campaign on Saturday, while Stoke are on offer at 2.30 and draw is also 3.10.

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