Match to be played on Sunday 27th October 2013 at 13:30. Venue: Stadium of Light, Sunderland.
Sunderland defender Phil Bardsley could be dropped for the crucial Tyne-Wear derby against Newcastle United with Andrea Dossena replacing him for his debut.
Bardsley made his first appearance of the season in last week’s 4-0 defeat away at Swansea, the first game of Gustavo Poyet’s reign after the sacking of controversial Italian Paolo Di Canio.
His poor performance at left-back was topped off with an unfortunate own goal to open the scoring at the Liberty Stadium. And it looks as though he may be out of the side for Poyet’s first home game in charge as quickly as he was put in in Wales.
Dossena, a summer signing from Napoli and former Liverpool defender should replace Bardsley and make his first appearance for the Black Cats in what will be the only change from the hammering at the weekend.
The rest of the back four should remain the same with John O’Shea partnering Valentin Roberge at the heart of the defence.
Former club captain Lee Cattermole will start once again in midfield with Craig Gardner and Sebastien Larsson. And upfront, Steven Fletcher will be hoping for good service on the wings from Adam Johnson and Emanuele Giaccherini as he searches for the goals to fire the Wearside club to a first league win of the season against their bitter rivals.
Predicted Sunderland line-up: Westwood, Celustka, O’Shea, Roberge, Dossena, Larsson, Gardner, Cattermole, Giaccherini, Johnson, Fletcher
Sunderland fans, will this be the game to start the turn around? Would you make any other changes? Let us know.