Sunderland V Birmingham at Stadium of Light : Match Preview
Sunderland's record signing Didier Ndong could return to the starting line-up for the crunch Sky Bet Championship clash with Birmingham.
The midfielder came on as a substitute during last weekend's victory over Fulham following a knee injury and has trained well all week.
Lee Cattermole is available again after suspension but the game will come too soon for Bryan Oviedo (knee) and Paddy McNair (groin).
Lamine Kone, Jack Rodwell, Jonny Williams and Duncan Watmore also remain sidelined.
Birmingham midfielder David Davis will have a late fitness test after sustaining an ankle injury in last week's home defeat to QPR.
Davis returned to full training on Friday morning and is hoping to be in contention as Blues chase their first league win in six matches.
Defender Marc Roberts and forward Che Adams remain sidelined due to respective hamstring injuries and Isaac Vassell is recovering from knee surgery.
Full-back Carl Jenkinson, who has returned to light training following a shoulder operation, also remains unavailable.