Sunderland v Aston Villa: Match Preview

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Football News

Sunderland v Aston Villa
Barclays Premier League
Stadium of Light
Saturday, October 28: 15:00

Team News

Sunderland are expected to be unchanged following victory over Bolton Wanderers last weekend.

Jermaine Jenas could make his Aston Villa debut after his recovery from the injury, while Alan Hutton is also available despite an eye injury.

Barry Bannan's suspension pending an investigation following his involvement in a motorway crash at the weekend.

Bruce has faith

Sunderland manger Steve Bruce is set to keep faith with the same side that ended the club's three-match winless run against Bolton Wanderers for this weekend's clash with Aston Villa.

Goals from Stephane Sessegnon and Nicklas Bendtner helped The Black Cats towards their first away win of the season and Bruce is hoping he's found the formula to help delivery the club's first back-to-back league wins for nine months.

Bruce left out both Lee Cattermole and summer signing Craig Gardner from his starting XI against The Trotters and the boss says he isn't worried about handing opportunities to Jack Colback and Connor Wickham.

“As a manger you are always looking for what works best and the fact is both Jack and Connor have deserved their chances," Bruce said.

“Lee and Craig are top players and their chances will undoubtedly come because they have big roles to play this season.

”Jack, though, has not put a foot wrong and he has proved his value with his tackling, his workrate and his passing, which I thought was superb at Bolton.

“As for Connor, he wanted to be given a chance to start games.

“We have tried to look after him as much as possible because he is still only 18 and it was important we bedded him gradually.

“We still have to be very careful with him because we have to nurture him as a player and protect his confidence.

Meanwhile, Villa boss Alex McLeish will welcome midfielder Jermaine Jenas into his squad for the first-time this season.

The on-loan Tottenham Hotspur man has been sidelined so far this season with a Achillies problem, but he Scottish boss has confirmed he will be available this weekend.

“Jermaine trained and he trained well,” McLeish said.

“It’s great to see him back with a spring in his step and the guy had a smile as wide as the River Thames.

“He has got a chance of being involved in the 18. He’s probably not fit enough to start.

“There’s no point, after the length of time he’s been out, rushing him through a get- fit-quick campaign.

“It’s been frustrating for us all, for me as I need every bit of help I can get in terms of having every player fit and available and playing to the top of their capacity.

“There’s no reason why he can’t give us that creative spark. He’s very experienced and played for England a good number of times.

"It’s important we have that guy fit.”

GMF predicted line-ups:

Sunderland: Mignolet, O'Shea, Brown, Turner, Richardson, Vaughan, Colbeck, Larsson, Sessegnon, Bendtner, Wickham.

Aston Villa: Given, Hutton, Warnock, Dunne, Collins, N'Zogbia, Petrov, Ireland, Albrighton, Bent, Agbonlahor.

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