SUNDERLAND boss Gustavo Poyet has name an unchanged side for today's crucial relegation battle with Cardiff City.

Poyet has selected the same 11 players that took four points from successive away games at Manchester City and Chelsea as he looks to guide his side out of the bottom three.

With Fulham only having claimed a point yesterday, and Norwich having suffered a heavy defeat at Manchester United, Sunderland will be guaranteed to leave the relegation zone if they win.

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Santiago Vergini retains his place at right-back, even though Phil Bardsley is available again after suspension.

SUNDERLAND (4-1-4-1): Mannone; Vergini, Brown, O'Shea, Alonso; Cattermole; Johnson, Larsson, Colback, Borini; Wickham.

Subs: Ustari (gk), Bardsley, Gardner, Bridcutt, Giaccherini, Scocco, Altidore.

CARDIFF (4-1-4-1): Marshall; Theophile-Catherine, Cala, Caulker, Fabio; Medel; Mutch, Cowie, Daehli, Whittingham; Campbell.

Subs: Lewis (gk), Turner, Eikrem, John, Bellamy, Zaha, Jones.