John O’Shea leads the run during the Republic of Ireland training session at the FAI National Training Centre on Friday. Photograph:  Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Republic of Ireland defender John O’Shea is among a number of senior players not included on Sunderland’s retained list in the wake of relegation. Th(...)

Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero celebrates scoring his side’s first goal of the game during their win over Sunderland at the Stadium of Light. Photo: Owen Humphreys/PA

Sunderland 0 Manchester City 2 At half-time a flock of seagulls swooped in from the sky, weaving intricate patterns as they flew just above the pitch(...)

Burnley’s Sam Vokes and Sunderland’s John O’Shea battle for the ball during their FA Cup third round match at the Stadium of Light. Photo: Owen Humphreys/PA

Sunderland 0 Burnley 0 Even Joey Barton could not inspire Burnley as they played out an FA Cup third round stalemate at Sunderland. The controver(...)

Jermain Defoe scored twice from the spot as Sunderland earned a priceless point at home to Liverpool. Photograph: Getty/Stu Forster

Sunderland 2 Liverpool 2 Wearside proved an unexpectedly hazardous staging post on Liverpool’s road towards a potential title with two Jermain Defo(...)

Jordan Pickford of Sunderland and Diego Costa of Chelsea compete for the ball during their Premier League clash at Stadium of Light in Sunderland, England. Photo: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Sunderland 0 Chelsea 1 They say perfection is a flame that many touch but few can hold. If so, Chelsea are showing every indication of possessing s(...)

Liverpool’s Joel Matip is back in the Liverpool squad for this weekend’s game. Photograph: PA

SATURDAY Arsenal (2nd) v Stoke (9th) Arsenal could have Hector Bellerin back after an ankle injury at Gabriel’s expense. Petr Cech will return in(...)

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp will hope to have James Milner available this weekend. Photograph: Phil Noble/PA

SATURDAY Crystal Palace (11th) v Liverpool (3rd) Crystal Palace have a doubt over Jason Puncheon. He missed the 3-1 defeat to Leicester due to a (...)

Arsene Wenger celebrates his 20th anniversary as Arsenal manager this weekend against opponents who have caused him more anguish than almost any other team. The Frenchman has won only five of his last 31 meetings against Chelsea and had his last major milestone - his 1,000th match as Arsenal manager - spoilt by a 6-0 thrashing at Stamford Bridge. Photograph: Getty Images

Saturday Arsenal (4th) v Chelsea (5th) Arsene Wenger will recall a host of first-team regulars after making 11 changes for Tuesday night’s League(...)

Sevilla’s Steven N’Zonzi was on Sam Allardyce’s radar. Photograph: Jon Nazca/Reuters

The Football Association has broadened its search for non-English players who can qualify for the national side after the failed attempt to bring Stev(...)

Bastian Schweinsteiger’s ill-fated spell at Manchester United may be drawing to a close after the Germany international was the notable absentee from first-team training on Thursday. Photo: Getty Images

Bastian Schweinsteiger’s ill-fated spell at Manchester United may be drawing to a close after the Germany international was the notable absentee from (...)