Sunderland v Blackburn preview

21 August 2009 11:14
// A bit of a hack but it works// The article snippet is wrapped onto a second line, even when #article-sub is emptyif( $("div#article-sub").children().length == 0 ) {$("div#article-sub").remove();} Sunderland and Blackburn will both be hoping to bounce back from defeats when they do battle at the Stadium of Light on Saturday.

Steve Bruce's Black Cats made a winning start to their Premier League campaign last Saturday as they claimed a hard-fought 1-0 success away to Bolton.

They also took the lead against Chelsea in midweek but could not withstand a second-half onslaught and eventually lost 3-1.

Bruce recognised that his men had been outplayed by the Blues but there were still positives to take from the performance.

Darren Bent's form has been a major plus and the striker will go in search of a third goal in as many games against Blackburn.

Steed Malbranque missed out on Tuesday with an ankle injury and Jordan Henderson took his place in midfield.

Bruce may consider making changes and Andy Reid will come into contention for his first start of the season after recovering from a thigh injury.

Lee Cattermole is struggling with a back complaint and goalkeeper Marton Fulop is doubtful with a heel problem, but Lorik Cana is expected to play through the pain after hurting his hand.

Paulo Da Silva is still building up his fitness following a summer move, while Paul McShane (knee) and David Meyler (ankle) are sidelined.

Blackburn newsBlackburn were not in midweek action and as such have had a week to shrug off the disappointment of an opening day defeat to Manchester City.

Sam Allardyce's Rovers put City under pressure after conceding an early goal but could not force an equaliser and ultimately went down 2-0.

Allardyce has bolstered his defensive options this week with the signing of former Real Madrid full-back Michel Salgado on a two-year deal.

Salgado could be available to make his debut if international clearance is granted quickly but Allardyce may feel he is short of fitness.

A decision will also have to be made on defender Ryan Nelsen after he failed to overcome a knee problem in time to feature against Man City.

Allardyce has already stated that he intends to give Nikola Kalinic his debut in the Carling Cup match against Gillingham so Jason Roberts and Benni McCarthy are likely to continue up front.

Possible starting XIsSunderland: Gordon, Bardsley, Ferdinand, Collins, McCartney, Richardson, Cattermole, Cana, Reid, Bent, Jones.

Blackburn: Robinson, Jacobsen, Warnock, Samba, Givet, Pedersen, N'Zonzi, Andrews, Diouf, McCarthy, Roberts.

Source: SKY_Sports