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Sunderland: Black Cats predicted XI vs Birmingham

Sunderland will be hoping to head into the World Cup break on a high as they travel away from the Stadium of Light to face Birmingham at St. Andrew’s in the Championship tonight.

This is the club’s final match between now and the 3rd of December and should be looking to avoid two straight defeats before the international tournament.

Tony Mowbray’s side lost 1-0 to Cardiff at home last time out in the division and are currently sat 17th in the table, with a win tonight taking them up to 12th before the weekend’s fixtures.

How many changes will the boss make to the team from that defeat?

Here is our predicted XI…

Anthony Patterson; Niall Huggins, Bailey Wright, Danny Batth, Dennis Cirkin; Daniel Neil, Corry Evans (C), Amad Diallo, Elliot Embleton, Jack Clarke; Ellis Simms

The Black Cats could make three alterations to their side, with Elliot Embleton, Corry Evans, and Niall Huggins all coming in.

Mowbray will be forced into making at least one change as the versatile Luke O’Nien is suspended after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season.

He started at right-back against Cardiff and his absence could open the door for 21-year-old Niall Huggins to make his long-awaited return to first-team action.

Should Corry Evans start?

Yes

Yes

No

No

The former Leeds United full-back has not played a senior game since September of 2021 and has recently played in three under-21 matches to build his fitness back up, which indicates that he could be ready to be thrown back in at right-back.

In midfield, captain Evans could come for Abdoullah Ba after the Frenchman struggled against Cardiff – losing 75% (3/4) of his individual duels and completing 68% of his attempted passes.

The skipper has won 55% of his battles in the Championship and completed 82% of his passes, which suggests that he could come in as an upgrade in the middle of the park by offering more on and off the ball.

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Finally, Embleton, 23, may replace Patrick Roberts as part of the attack after Sunderland managed two shots on target at home to the Bluebirds.

The Black Cats academy graduate, who was once dubbed a “nightmare” by former teammate Max Power on the SAFC Unfiltered Podcast, has shown some signs of promise in front of goal with two goals and two assists in the Championship this season.

He could be unleashed from the start ahead of Roberts, who can then be held back as a super sub for the second half, in order to freshen up the struggling attack from their defeat last time out.

Article title: Sunderland: Black Cats predicted XI vs Birmingham

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