Team news: Sunderland v Aston Villa

The Advertiser Series: Team news: Sunderland v Aston Villa Team news: Sunderland v Aston Villa

JI DONG-WON makes his first start since October as Sunderland host Aston Villa at the Stadium of Light this afternoon.

The South Korean striker has featured for the Black Cats since the 2-1 defeat to Manchester United under Kevin Ball, but he starts ahead of Fabio Borini and Jozy Altidore.

The 22-year-old scored in the New Year’s Day win over Manchester City in 2012, but has struggled to cement a regular place under Poyet.

John O’Shea misses out after failing to recover from injury, meaning Modibo Diakite and Valentin Roberge continue in central defence.

Ondrej Celustka also returns at right-back with Jack Colback earning a starting place after his crucial last-gasp equaliser at Cardiff City on Sunday.

Despite concerns over his fitness, Christian Benteke starts for the visitors.

Sunderland: Mannone; Celustka, Diakite, Roberge, Bardsley; Giaccherini, Cattermole, Ki, Colback; Fletcher, Ji

Subs: Pickford, Dossena, Larsson, Gardner, Johnson, Altidore, Borini.

Aston Villa: Guzan; Lowton, Baker, Vlaar, Luna; Westwood, Delph, Bacuna; Agbonlahor, Benteke, Weimann.

Subs: Steer, El Ahmadi, Albrighton, Tonev, Kozak, Donacien, Bowery.

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