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.

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.