Sunderland v Birmingham City - Follow LIVE text commentary

20 March 2010 03:00
Sunderland v Birmingham City

Follow every kick as Sunderland take on Birmingham City at Stadium of Light in the Premier League
on 20-Mar-2010, kick off time 15:00

Sunderland v Birmingham City Live

Sunderland manager Steve Bruce is expected to hand Benjani a start against Birmingham City after it was confirmed that the groin injury Kenwyne Jones sustained during Sunday's 1-1 draw with Manchester City is likely to keep the Trinidad & Tobago international sidelined for a month. The 31-year-old, who is currently on loan at the Stadium of Light from Roberto Mancini's side, has yet to make a start for the Black Cats since moving to Wearside in January. Lee Cattermole could feature against Alex McLeish's side having missed the Manchester City game with the hamstring problem that has blighted him for much of the season. Lorik Cana is suspended as he serves the second of his two-game ban for reaching 10 yellow cards but Jordan Henderson and Andy Reid are available after recovering from their respective injuries. Bruce's side remain difficult to beat at home, losing only twice in 15 games on Wearside so far this term, but their recent improved form - a 4-0 battering of Bolton Wanderers and 1-1 draw with Manchester City - has lifted them seven points clear of the bottom three. Birmingham are currently 13 points better off than Sunderland and retain slim hopes of clinching a Europa League place after coming back from two goals down to draw 2-2 with Everton last weekend. Despite only scoring slightly more than one goal per game, McLeish's team continue to defy their critics and, despite suffering a very disappointing FA Cup sixth round defeat to Portsmouth earlier this month, have taken seven points from their last three matches. They look certain to secure a top-half finish this season, not a bad return from a team that only won promotion last term. Stuart Parnaby remains in the St Andrew's treatment room while Lee Carsley is close to a training return after spending the last two months sidelined with an ankle injury, but otherwise McLeish has a full squad to choose from.

Source: DSG