Sunderland v Birmingham - team news

22 September 2009 07:29
STEVE BRUCE has made changes for tonight's Carling Cup third round, but the Sunderland line-up is also just as likely to start in the Premier League on Sunday.

Following Saturday's defeat to Burnley, Bruce has withdrawn Phil Bardsley, Anton Ferdinand and George McCartney from his back four.

That means Paulo Da Silva and John Mensah are included to make their first home starts, while Kieran Richardson will be asked to play left-back. Young midfielder Jordan Henderson also starts.

Leading scorer Darren Bent is also included on the bench, but that appears to be purely to give him a rest ahead of the visit of Wolves.

Birmingham, meanwhile, have included former Sunderland striker Kevin Phillips in their starting XI at the Stadium of Light, where he was once worshipped.

SUNDERLAND (4-4-2): Gordon; Da Silva, Mensah, Turner, Richardson; Malbranque, Henderson, Cana, Reid; Jones, Campbell. Subs: Carson (gk), Nosworthy, Ferdinand, Bardsley, Bent, Murphy, Healy.

BIRMINGHAM (4-4-2): Taylor; Parnaby, Ridgwell, Dann, Espinoza; Sammons, OShea, Ferguson, McShefferey; Phillips, OConnor. Subs: Doyle (gk), Bowyer, Chucho, Johnson, Fahey, Preston.

Source: Northern_Echo