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Sunderland v A Villa preview

Sunderland boss Gus Poyet will take late decisions over John O'Shea, Fabio

Borini and Adam Johnson ahead of the New Year's Day clash with Aston Villa.

Central defender O'Shea has missed the last two games with a shoulder injury, but is close to a return, while striker Borini is undergoing tests after recovering from the illness which saw him taken to hospital during Saturday's 2-2 Premier League draw at Cardiff, a game midfielder Johnson missed because of a virus.

O'Shea's defensive partner Wes Brown completes his three-match ban and loan signing Marcos Alonso will not be available until the weekend, while keeper Keiren Westwood (shoulder) and defender Carlos Cuellar (hip) are still out.

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert will monitor the fitness of Christian Benteke and Ron Vlaar ahead of the trip to the Stadium of Light.

Striker Benteke has missed the last three games with a knee problem, while defender Vlaar is on his way back from a calf injury.

Ciaran Clark is suspended, while the game is likely to come too soon for Joe Bennett as he recovers from his back injury.