Wave of League Cup winning optimism ebbing away for hosts as they seek crucial victory in fight for survival against Steve Bruce's free-falling side, who are in danger of the drop
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|Birmingham City: Foster; Carr, Davies, Johnson, Parnaby; Larsson, Ferguson, Gardner, Bowyer; Jerome, Phillips.
|Sunderland: Gordon; Onuoha, Ferdinand, Turner, Bardsley; Henderson, Muntari, Cattermole, Zenden; Welbeck; Gyan.
- In 115 meetings in all competitions, Sunderland have won 52 games to Birmingham's 40, with 23 games drawn.
- Roger Johnson's concussion-enforced substitution at half-time against Blackburn Rovers was the first 45 minutes of Premier League football he has missed for Birmingham since he joined the club in 2009.
- Wigan Athletic are the only team with a worse goals scored record in the league this season than Sunderland and Birmingham.
- Sunderland are the worst team in the league, in terms of form, at present with just one point picked up from a possible 24.
- Phil Bardsley's goal in the 3-2 defeat to West Bromwich Albion last weekend was the first scored in the league by a Sunderland player in more than 450 minutes.
- If league games ended at half-time, Sunderland would be in a comfortable seventh place in the table.
- Birmingham have won just six of the 14 league games this season in which they have scored first.
- Sunderland's record of 12 clean sheets has given them the fifth best total in the league this season.
- Steve Bruce's side have made four injury-enforced substitutions before the second half in their last three league games.
- Sunderland have scored nine goals in nine league games since Darren Bent was sold compared to 26 goals in 22 league games before his exit.
August 14, 2010: Sunderland 2-2 Birmingham City
A late Liam Ridgewell leveller saw the spoils shared between the teams at the Stadium of Light on the opening day of the season.