Sunderland vs Birmingham City injury news - as 10 players ruled out and three doubtful

Early team news for Sunderland vs Birmingham City, including injury updates on Luke O’Nien, Dan Ballard, Dion Sanderson and Troy Deeney.

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Birmingham City will be eager to stretch their Championship unbeaten streak to five games as they head on the road to face Sunderland on Saturday afternoon. Having reached the 50-point mark with a draw against Stoke City last weekend, John Eustace’s side can relax somewhat and hopefully put on a show for supporters to round off the season.

Blues have been lifted by the returns of two key players to training this week, as long-term absentee duo Troy Deeney and Dion Sanderson have gotten involved. “Deeney came back into the group today and we are really glad he is back with us,” Eustace said on Thursday. “Sanderson is back now and he is a massive boost for the squad,” the head coach continued.

Both have missed around two months through injury and, although the trip to the Stadium of Light will likely come too quickly, next weekend’s fixture against Blackpool could be feasible. The same cannot be said for Gary Gardner and Tate Campbell, however, as they are both sidelined and building fitness for the close of the Championship campaign.

Ruled out: Gardner, Campbell. Doubts: Deeney, Sanderson.

Sunderland team news latest

The Black Cats are hoping to welcome Luke O’Nien back to the matchday squad to take on Birmingham. The defender missed the 1-0 win over Cardiff City last time out as his partner is due to give birth. “He’s trained for the last few days, so we’ll see how he fares and how things roll with that,” manager Tony Mowbray told our sister publication, Sunderland Echo.

Luke O’Nien has played 36 times in the Championship for Sunderland this season.Luke O’Nien has played 36 times in the Championship for Sunderland this season.
Luke O’Nien has played 36 times in the Championship for Sunderland this season.

“He’ll be in the matchday squad unless matchday is the day. We’ll do the stuff on team structure on Friday and I’ll sleep on it in terms of whether we bring Luke straight back in or not,” Mowbray continued. Meanwhile, the rest of the squad remains pretty much the same as the one that faced Cardiff.

It’s a rather long injury list for Sunderland, as Daniel Ballard is out for another few weeks with a hamstring injury, whereas 15-year-old starlet Chris Rigg will miss the rest of the campaign. The same fate falls to Niall Huggins, Ross Stewart, Jewison Bennette, Alji Alese, Corry Evans and Elliot Embleton, who are all expected back in pre-season.

Ruled out: Ballard, Rigg, Huggins, Stewart, Bennette, Alese, Evans, Embleton. Doubts: O’Nien.