Altidore starts as Poyet makes six changes for Sunderland's League Cup bow

RECALLED: Jozy Altidore is back in the Sunderland side for tonight's League Cup game at Birmingham

RECALLED: Jozy Altidore is back in the Sunderland side for tonight's League Cup game at Birmingham

First published in Sport The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author by

JOZY ALTIDORE returns to Sunderland's starting line-up as Gus Poyet makes six changes for Sunderland's Capital One Cup game with Birmingham City this evening.

Altidore, who only managed two goals in the whole of last season, replaces Steven Fletcher and is expected to partner Connor Wickham in attack.

Costel Pantilimon, Billy Jones and Jordi Gomez all come in for their first Sunderland starts after joining the club as free agents this summer.

Pantilimon is preferred to Vito Mannone in goal, while Jones replaces Patrick van Aanholt from the side that drew with Manchester United at the weekend.

Gomez comes into the midfield along with Liam Bridcutt, who gets the nod ahead of Lee Cattermole, and Adam Johnson, who has shaken off the illness that prevented him from being involved on Sunday.

Birmingham (4-5-1): Doyle; Eardley, Edgar, Hall, Robinson; Duffy, Gleeson, Caddis, Cotterill, Donaldson; Thomas.

Subs: Randolph (gk), Grounds, Spector, Davis, Gray, Novak, Johnstone.

Sunderland (4-4-2): Pantilimon; Vergini, O'Shea, Brown, Jones; Johnson, Larsson, Bridcutt, Gomez; Wickham, Altidore.

Subs: Mannone (gk), van Aanholt, Cattermole, Rodwell, Fletcher, Giaccherini, Buckley.

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