Sunderland v Wolves preview

25 September 2009 10:57
Sunderland and Wolves lock horns at the Stadium of Light on Sunday in a battle between two teams struggling for consistency. The Black Cats have alternated between winning and losing in their opening six games of the season and were defeated 3-1 at Burnley last weekend. Steve Bruce will have been encouraged by the way his men keep bouncing back from losses and there was another impressive performance against Birmingham in midweek. Bruce selected a strong side for the Carling Cup clash and defenders John Mensah and Paulo da Silva both earned praise for assured displays at the back. Bruce must now decide whether to keep faith with the duo or bring back the likes of Anton Ferdinand, George McCartney and Phil Bardsley. Lee Cattermole has missed the last two games with a heel problem and will be assessed ahead of kick-off, while goalkeeper Marton Fulop is still struggling with a similar injury. Darren Bent was rested against Birmingham but the in-form striker is likely to return at the expense of Fraizer Campbell. Wolves have made a decent start to the new campaign and currently occupy a mid-table position after picking up seven points from six matches. They were edged out by Manchester United in the Carling Cup but played well on their last Premier League outing to beat Fulham 2-1. A number of key players are also beginning to return from injury to boost Mick McCarthy but the manager will not want to push the likes of Michael Kightly and Sylvan Ebanks-Blake too hard. Both started at Old Trafford but are set to drop out as former Black Cats boss McCarthy makes a host of changes for the journey to the North East. On-loan Chelsea central defender Michael Mancienne, who was ineligible to play against United, will return while strikers Kevin Doyle and Andy Keogh are both set to come in. Wales international Wayne Hennessey will return in goal to replace Marcus Hahnemann with Greg Halford taking over from Kevin Foley at right-back. Dave Edwards has also been pencilled in to return for winger Kightly. Possible starting XIsSunderland: Gordon, Bardsley, Ferdinand, Turner, McCartney, Malbranque, Cana, Richardson, Reid, Jones, Bent. Wolves: Hennessey, Halford, Berra, Mancienne, Elokobi, Edwards, Henry, Castillo, Jarvis, Keogh, Doyle.

Source: SKY_Sports