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Key clash for patched-up basement rivals

Sussex will head into their bottom-of-the-table clash with Northamptonshire fighting an injury crisis.

The south-coast county are in desperate need of a win - they have not tasted success in the LV= County Championship in almost three months - but fortune is currently not on board as their physio room becomes ever more crowded.

A patched-up team is likely to be sent out against last-placed Northamptonshire, who ended a seven-game losing run with a draw at Lord’s last week.

Head coach Mark Robinson is set to make a decision on the fitness of Rory Hamilton-Brown (wrist) and Matt Machan (fractured finger) while James Anyon is unlikely to be ready for his first championship match in a month.

Ed Joyce, who missed Friday night’s NatWest Blast T20 defeat at Gloucestershire, and Luke Wright are not at full fitness, but Robinson will call on them both at the County Ground as they chase a much-needed win.

“Ed Joyce and Luke Wright are both fit to play but they are not 100 per cent,” he told BBC Radio.

“Luke can’t bowl. Jimmy Anyon we don’t think will be fit, there’s a chance, but we don’t think he’ll be fit.

Luke Wright has been declared fit enough to play in Sussex's relegation battle with Northamptonshire, although he will be unable to bowl

“Matt Machan has a fractured finger which is causing him discomfort and has an injection every time he bats at the moment so we have to monitor that.

“Rory Hamilton-Brown - his wrist kept him out of this game. He’s an outside chance of being okay for Sunday.

“We’ve got to see where Mach is and where Rory is.”

Sussex began the season with back-to-back wins, but they have failed to add to that tally in their eight championship games since.

The absence of Matt Prior and Chris Jordan to England duty, and Jon Lewis’ own injury problems, had added to Sussex’s problems, but Robinson has called on his side to pull together in adversity.

“We’ve got a lot of doubts. It’s a tough time for the team at the moment because we’re carrying a lot of niggles and a few injuries and results haven’t gone quite as we want,” he said.

“All you can do as a club is to try to stay close and two to keep a lot of faith.

“You have to keep giving confidence - especially to the less experienced players and any player that is going through bad form.

“That’s what this club and its supporters have done since I’ve been here.”

Northants could give a debut to Adam Rossington after the wicketkeeper-batsman signed a one-month loan from Middlesex this week.

Rossington has been brought in primarily to strengthen a batting line-up that has itself suffered from injury with Rob Newton, David Sales and Rob Keogh sidelined.

Tall fast bowler Chris Tremlett is back in the Surrey squad for their championship trip to north Wales to meet fourth-placed Glamorgan

Northamptonshire are yet to win in the four-day format and there hopes of avoiding an immediate return to the second tier would seemingly hinge on getting a result at Hove.

Surrey are making a strong claim to go the other way after recovering from their slow start to the season.

Back-to-back wins, before last week’s home draw against second-placed Hampshire, has left them just outside the promotion places.

They face a difficult journey to Colwyn Bay to take on Glamorgan, who sit just below them in fourth.

Surrey will be without Tillakaratne Dilshan after his return to Sri Lanka for their one-day international series against South Africa. 

Arun Harinath, Dominic Sibley, Tom Curran and Chris Tremlett all return to the squad for the trip to north Wales.

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