Potters look to improve poor record at the Stadium of Light and continue their unbeaten start to the season as the Wearsiders eye up their first home victory since April
O’Shea, Brown, Bramble, Richardson
Larsson, Cattermole, Gardner, Sessegnon Dong-Won, Bendtner
Huth, Woodgate, Shawcross, Wilson
Pennant, Delap, Palacios, Etherington
Phil Bardsley is out for the Black Cats as he starts his four-game suspension picked up last week following his stamp on Juan Mata in the Wearsiders' 2-1 defeat by Chelsea. Fortunately for Steve Bruce, John O’Shea has returned from injury so will replace Bardsley at right-back.
Bruce may switch to 4-4-2 against the Potters after starting the season with the 4-5-1 formation. This will give an opportunity for Ji Dong-Won to start up-front alongside Nicklas Bendtner following Asamoah Gyan's shock loan move to the United Arab Emirates, while Stephane Sessegnon will drop into midfield, replacing Jack Colback.
Following their exploits in Europe, Tony Pulis may ring the changes for Stoke. Asmir Begovic should return in goal replacing Thomas Sorensen, while Jonathan Woodgate will come into the back-four replacing Matthew Upson.
Rory Delap and Matthew Etherington should be fit for the game at the Stadium of Light while Wilson Palacios and Jermaine Pennant should be recalled after being benched against Dynamo Kiev.
Cameron Jerome should be pushing for a starting place after his goal on Thursday, but expect Pulis to stay with the partnership of Peter Crouch and Jon Walters against the Black Cats after their successful start against Liverpool.
||DID YOU KNOW?|
- Sunderland are yet to win a game this season in five attempts including the League Cup. The last time they did this was in the 2005-6 season when they were relegated from the Premier League.
- Stoke are unbeaten this Premier League campaign, winning twice and drawing twice.
- The Black Cats have only gained seven points at home in 2011 out of a possible 33.
- The Potters are yet to win at the Stadium of Light in five attempts including two whilst playing in the Championship.
- Steve Bruce (pictured right) has not seen his side keep a clean sheet at home since New Year’s Day with a 3-0 victory over Blackburn Rovers being their last.
- Stoke have conceded just one goal in the Premier League this season with Richie de Laet being the only player to find a way through their defence.
- Tony Pulis' side have only managed eight shots on target so far in their Premier League campaign.
- The Black Cats have the second worst disciplinary record in the Premier League this season.
- In the six Premier League meetings between Sunderland and Stoke the away team have failed to win, with five wins for the home side and one draw.