LEE CATTERMOLE and Jermain Defoe both returned to the Sunderland starting line-up for today’s crunch clash against West Brom.
Cattermole made his first start of 2015, while Defoe shrugged off the calf injury which kept him out of the FA Cup humiliation against Bradford to resume his place up front - partnering Danny Graham in attack.
The pair were among five changes from Gus Poyet, as he opted for an orthodox 4-4-2, with Adam Johnson and Ricky Alvarez occupying the places out wide.
Patrick van Aanholt was dropped to the bench, with fit-again Anthony Reveillere coming in at left-back, while Santiago Vergini replaced the injured Billy Jones at right-back.
Former Sunderland midfielder Craig Gardner started for West Brom, but fellow ex-Black Cat Stephane Sessegnon was only among the substitutes, with ex-Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher returning to the side.
SUNDERLAND: Pantilimon, Vergini, Brown, O’Shea, Reveillere, Cattermole, Larsson, Alvarez, Johnson, Defoe, Graham. Subs: Mannone, Coates, Bridcutt, Gomez, Wickham, Fletcher, van Aanholt.
WBA: Foster, Dawson, McAuley, Lescott, Brunt, Morrison, Fletcher, Yacob, Gardner, Ideye, Berahino. Subs: Myhill, Wisdom, Olsson, Baird, Mulumbu, Sessegnon, McManaman.
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