Squad in shape for Sunday

Gianfranco Zola has seen his squad boosted by the safe return of his senior internationals with all looking to take their good form into the weekend trip to Sunderland.

Matthew Upson's man of the match display for England in the 2-1 win in Germany, and success for Craig Bellamy, James Collins and Jack Collison with Wales away to Denmark left the British contingent on a high. Lucas Neill and Valon Behrami were also winners with Australia and Switzerland respectively. To add to the feelgood factor, Zola has seen Diego Tristan move into contention and had positive news on Herita Ilunga, Kieron Dyer, Jonathan Spector and Mark Noble.

The manager said: "All the international players are fit. Normally it is a difficult week after an international but my players all played good games for their teams. I hope that they can take the enthusiasm of the midweek game into Sunday, which is going to be very important for us. Looking forward it is a good match for us and hopefully we are going to be all right."

Speaking of Upson, Zola said his defender's performance could have a galvanising effect on the rest of the squad. "His experience and his enthusiasm can help the other players," the manager said. "The national team is great. It can help a player and help his team-mates. To play alongside an international team player is good.

"Matthew was confident, full of smiles yesterday and today. It is good, the national team can be very important for the players and for him it can be even more. He scored as well. I'm pretty much sure he is going to play a great match on Sunday. It is good for [Fabio] Capello … it is very important for Matthew that he has proved he can play in place of John Terry or Rio Ferdinand."

Further forward, Carlton Cole is close to agreeing a new five-year contract with the club - with Zola suggesting the deal underlined the "good future for this club" in retaining key players for the long term. The manager restated that he may look to trim the playing staff in January due to the sheer size of his squad - particularly now the medical department have reduced the number of long-term injured to just Danny Gabbidon and Dean Ashton.

Of those back in Zola's thoughts, Ilunga has recovered from the minor foot injury sustained against Portsmouth, while Tristan could make his first appearance for the club on Sunday. Looking further ahead, Dyer is getting closer to a return after completing another week of full training, while Mark Noble (calf) and Jonathan Spector (hip) are expected to resume full training on Monday.