When Sunderland's Gus Poyet gets his wish, who starts at the back?

Gus Poyet

Sunderland manager Gus Poyet is looking forward to having a fully fit defensive unit from which to select, but who gets the Premier League nod?

Gus Poyet is hoping that he will soon be in a position to select from a fully fit group of defenders at Sunderland.

The Uruguayan has seen his options severely depleted at regular intervals throughout the 2014/15 campaign.

Experienced centre-halves Wes Brown and John O’Shea have both spent time on the treatment table, along with loan star Sebastian Coates.

Similar struggles have been endured at full-back, with Billy Jones and Patrick van Aanholt taking in untimely spells on the sidelines.

With at least one player always unavailable to him, Poyet has often been forced to make do when it comes to picking a Premier League XI.

He is, however, looking forward to the day when he is handed a selection dilemma, with that the only form of headache welcomed by top-flight bosses.

Poyet told the Sunderland Echo: “It will be interesting if I’ve got everyone available. That will be nice. Four centre-halves and three full-backs. Then I can pick the team I want.

“At Liverpool, it wasn’t difficult to pick the back four. I haven’t had that option yet and it will be very important for the rest of the season.”

If Poyet is to enjoy an embracement of defensive riches, he will then have some tricky decisions to make.

Sunderland have yet to see enough of Coates to pass judgement on what he can offer to the cause, but a call will need to be made on whether his energy and physicality is preferable to the know-how of Brown and/or O’Shea.

At full-back, Santiago Vergini could be offered a well-earned break after managing to steer clear of the treatment room, while Anthony Reveillere – currently being asked to play out of position - may be replaced on the left having been drafted in on a short-term contract as cover.

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