Predicted Sunderland side to play QPR: Long-awaited return for Duncan Watmore?

Sunderland manager Simon Grayson in action during the pre season friendly between Hibernian and Sunderland at Easter Road on July 9, 2017 in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Duncan Watmore's return to the starting line-up would give Sunderland a lift against Queens Park Rangers on Saturday.

Sunderland manager Simon Grayson in action during the pre season friendly between Hibernian and Sunderland at Easter Road on July 9, 2017 in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Sunderland headed into the international break having mustered a creditable draw at Preston North End and they will now be looking to build on that result.

Simon Grayson's Black Cats remain in the bottom three of the Championship after nine league games without a win, but they now head into a run of four matches where they will play at home three times.

While Sunderland have endured an awful run at the Stadium of Light, that streak must end at some stage and now they take on Queens Park Rangers.

Lamine Kone of Sunderland in action during the pre season friendly between Hibernian and Sunderland at Easter Road on July 9, 2017 in Edinburgh, Scotland.

The international break may cause some changes, but it is unlikely that Jason Steele will lose his place in goal.

Sunderland have had a number of defenders away with their countries. Lamine Kone could well return, but the miles put in by Bryan Oviedo - the Costa Rica international - will surely prevent him from starting.

Although Grayson opted against pairing Callum McManaman and Aiden McGeady on the wings at Deepdale, he must bow to pressure to select his two most creative players in a key home fixture.

And the two wingers could be joined by Duncan Watmore, an impact substitute at Preston, who has now had time to build his fitness.

Both Paddy McNair and Lewis Grabban will return to the fold in the coming weeks, but it would cause little surprise if the core of the midfield remained the same and James Vaughan continued up front.

How Sunderland could line up against QPR:

Sunderland v QPR

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