SUNDERLAND are hopeful of having some defenders recover from injury in time for this evening's League One tie against Cheltenham Town. 

Lynden Gooch is expected to miss this evening's game with a footy injury but it shouldn't keep him out for this weekend. 

Here is tonight's predicted starting line-up for the game at the Stadium of Light: 

Thorben Hoffman - GK

The Northern Echo: Thorben Hoffman warms up for Sunderland.Thorben Hoffman warms up for Sunderland.

The German goalkeeper has started all three games since signing on loan from Bayern Munich until the end of the season. 

After a shaky debut against Accrington Stanley, there has been some improvement from Hoffman who kept his first clean sheet for the club in the win over Bolton at the weekend.

Carl Winchester - RB

There is no dislodging Winchester at the moment. He's playing his best football in a Sunderland shirt. 

He's provided a threat going forward with three goals this season whilst helping keep the Sunderland rearguard sturdy. 

Tom Flanagan - CB

Flanagan slotted straight back into the side after serving his one match suspension for Fleetwood Town. 

While Bailey Wright is breathing down his neck, Flanagan looks at home alongside Callum Doyle at the back. 

Callum Doyle - CB

The Northern Echo: Callum Doyle in action for SunderlandCallum Doyle in action for Sunderland

The only thing that would keep Doyle out of the game is to rest the defender a stiff back. Lee Johnson said he was struggling with the problem prior to game against Bolton Wanderers.

That being said, he has become a key figurehead in central defence. 

Niall Huggins - LB

Dennis Cirkin was substituted at the weekend because of a suspected head injury.

If concussion were to rule Cirkin out, Huggins would be able to step straight into the side. 

Dan Neil - CM

The Northern Echo:

Despite Corry Evans regaining fitness, Dan Neil doesn't look like he should lose his place in the Sunderland side. 

He opened his account for the club in recent weeks scoring the opening goal of a 2-1 win over Accrington Stanley. 

Luke O'Nien - CM

The versatile midfielder could slot in most places on the pitch and would look comofrtable. 

However, he's had a settled run of games in midfield and has formed a strong partnership with Neil. Sunderland would miss his energy if he wasn't in there. 

Elliot Embleton - LM

Embleton is a huge part of the side and is a constant threat from the attacking areas. 

While playing on the left hand side might not be his favourite position, it gives him the scope to drift inside onto his right foot and cross or shoot.

Aiden McGeady - RM

The Northern Echo:

The veteran winger has been wearing the captain's armband in the absence of Corry Evans and has led the side very well. 

McGeady has demonstrated how important he is to the side and despite the fact he's 35-years-old, he looks fit enough to complete two games a week. 

Alex Pritchard - CAM

Lee Johnson has often spoke of an embarrassment of riches not being able to play the likes of Pritchard.

Now the 28-year-old can get a run of games in the side in the absence of Lynden Gooch and make an impact in the side.

Ross Stewart - ST

What a player Stewart looks this season. He's been getting goals whilst faciltating other players in the team. 

Only injury could see Stewart lose his place in the side and he should be leading the line against Cheltenham tonight.