Sunderland Vs West Bromwich Albion, Sat 1 Oct 2011

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Football News

Sunderland defender Titus Bramble will miss the Barclays Premier League clash with West Brom.

The 30-year-old defender is currently on police bail after being questioned over allegations of sexual assault and possession of a Class A drug.

His club have suspended him as they conduct their own investigation into the matter, but boss Steve Bruce has expressed his anger over the fact that Bramble was out on the town at all barely 24 hours after his team's 2-1 defeat at Norwich.

He said: "There's a police investigation going on into Titus and obviously I'm restricted in what I can say, but for me, the big disappointment is he shouldn't have been there in the first place.

"With the rewards footballers get, they have a responsibility, a moral responsibility, and I don't think footballers should be in nightclubs on a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, especially after you have just been beaten - and how badly he had performed against Norwich as well.

"If it was me, I would be locking myself away for 24, 48 hours and burying my head."

Midfielder Sebastian Larsson has been playing after having pain-killing injections in a broken toe and his condition will be assessed, while striker Connor Wickham (groin) is a doubt and Craig Gordon and Fraizer Campbell (both knee) continue to work their way back to fitness.

Roy Hodgson admits West Brom are playing catch-up after their poor start to the season but believes his current squad have the talent and depth to survive.

The Baggies remain in the bottom three despite picking up four points from the last three games but have struggled to regain last season's momentum of 20 points from the final 12 matches.

Hodgson said: "The first three games are the real bugbear for us because we got no points.

"We are going to be playing catch-up for a considerable period of time.

"It will take a while to get back into a position in the table we would be more comfortable with."

Central defender Gabriel Thomas is available after completing a three-game suspension.

But he faces a battle to regain his place following an impressive performance by summer signing Gareth McAuley in last weekend's goalless home draw with Fulham.

Defender Craig Dawson is expected to recover from the illness which meant he was unable to train on Thursday, but midfielder Zoltan Gera and striker Marc-Antoine Fortune are still sidelined through injury.

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Titus Bramble
West Bromwich Albion
Marc-Antoine Fortune
Premier League
Steve Bruce
Craig Dawson
Gareth McAuley
Zoltan Gera
Connor Wickham
Craig Gordon
Sebastian Larsson
Fraizer Campbell

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