LAMINE KONE and Adam Matthews return to Sunderland's starting line-up for this evening's Championship game with Birmingham City.

Kone has recovered from a knee injury, and having played for 60 minutes of a development-team game with Leicester City last week, the centre-half is back in the starting side for the first time since late October.

He replaces skipper John O'Shea, who is unavailable because of an illness.

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Billy Jones is also ill, as well as suffering from the after-effects of the concussion he suffered against Hull City in Sunderland's last game, with Adam Matthews will line up as a right wing-back.

The Black Cats are unchanged in attack, with Joel Asoro and Josh Maja once again forming a youthful attacking partnership.

New signing Kazenga LuaLua has been named on the substitutes' bench, having moved to Wearside from Brighton at the end of last week.

BIRMINGHAM (4-2-3-1): Stockdale; Colin, Roberts, Dean, Grounds; Davis, Kieftenbeld; Ndoye, Boga, Maghoma; Gallagher.

Subs: Trueman (gk), Morrison, Lowe, Gardner, Jota, Adams, Jutkiewicz.

SUNDERLAND (3-5-2): Ruiter; Browning, Kone, Clarke-Salter; Matthews, E Robson, Cattermole, Honeyman, Oviedo; Asoro, Maja.

Subs: Steele (gk), Love, Galloway, McGeady, Gooch, Williams, LuaLua.