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Sunderland: Dennis Cirkin set to return after World Cup break

An update has emerged on the fitness of Sunderland left-back Dennis Cirkin heading into the break for the World Cup 2022 in Qatar…

What’s the latest?

The former Tottenham defender was absent from the matchday squad as the Black Cats beat Birmingham 2-1 on Friday night in the Championship.

Manager Tony Mowbray has now revealed that he picked up an injury issue but that he is set to be back in contention to feature when the club return to league action after the break.

He told the Sunderland Echo: “Dennis has got a calf problem, we think it’ll be two weeks until he is back fit so I’m hopeful that by the time we play Millwall on December 3rd he will be available.”

Forget Niall Huggins

Huggins started at left-back at St. Andrew’s on Friday in what was his first appearance for the senior side in over a year, due to injury, and struggled at times.

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The ex-Leeds gem lost 60% of his individual duels and completed just 54% of his attempted passes as he recorded a SofaScore rating of 6.2. It was far from a perfect performance from the youngster but it would be harsh to expect him to hit the ground running after being out of action since 2021.

He should be eased back into the team after the break, rather than being forced to play week-in-week-out, and that is why the return of Cirkin for the clash with Millwall should delight Mowbray.

The 20-year-old left-back has enjoyed a solid season in the Championship so far and has proven that he has the quality to be a reliable option at full-back and as a central defender in a three.

Cirkin has averaged a SofaScore rating of 6.86 across 14 appearances in the division, a significantly better rating than the score of 6.2 Huggins received against Birmingham, and has made 3.7 tackles and interceptions per match. This shows that he is consistently delivering good performances whilst winning the ball back for his side on a regular basis.

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Sunderland striker Ross Stewart in action

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He is also naturally left-footed and this allows him to open up and play passes down the line more comfortably than Huggins can on his right foot, as evidenced by the latter’s inconsistent passing on Friday.

The Welshman is a right-back by trade, who can also play on the left, and Cirkin’s return means that Mowbray can utilise him in his natural position instead of being forced to use him on his weak side, which is another reason why he will be pleased with this latest injury boost.

Article title: Sunderland: Dennis Cirkin set to return after World Cup break

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