Sunderland vs Birmingham City preview: Black Cats looking to build on their first home win in nearly a year

In what can only be described as a Sky Bet Championship relegation six-pointer, Sunderland host Birmingham City this weekend looking to build on their first home win in nearly a year. 

Confident Cats

The win came against Fulham last weekend at the Stadium of Light in front of a little under 26,000 fans. Debutant Josh Maja scored the only goal of the game with less than 15 minutes left on the clock to ensure the hosts moved out of the relegation zone by one point, leaving Burton Albion, Bolton Wanderers and this weekend's visitors in the three relegation spots. 

Blues on the other hand are still without an away win all season, with their last coming on the final day of the 2016/17 season against Bristol City when a single Che Adams goal was enough to give them victory and to also keep them in the division. 

Last time out on the road, they were the creators of their own defeat as on-loan Chelsea winger Jeremie Boga skied a second half penalty against Fulham which would have levelled the scores up but unfortunately for Steve Cotterill and his side, they weren't able to overturn the Cottagers first half goal. 

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Injury for key man

Heading into the match, Blues manager Cotterill has confirmed that dynamic midfielder David Davis will have a late fitness test after the former Wolverhampton Wanderers man took a heavy knock to his ankle last weekend in the 2-1 defeat to Queens Park Rangers.

Elsewhere, long-term absentees Adams, Carl Jenkinson and Isaac Vassell all remain out injured, with no return dates set for the trio. 

For the home side, Chris Coleman will be hoping to keep the momentum building after picking up seven points from a possible 12 in his last four fixtures and it is unlikely that he will change his line-up, with no fresh injury concerns. 

With all that in mind, here are the possible line-ups that we could see this weekend in the North East. 

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Predicted Line-Ups

Sunderland: Ruiter, Love, Browning, O'Shea, Wilson, Matthews, Gooch, Gibson, Honeyman, Grabban, Vaughan. 

Birmingham: Stockdale, Colin, Morrison, Dean, Grounds, Kieftenbeld, Gleeson, Ndoye, Jota, Gallagher, Boga.