Second string back in league action today.
Sunderland’s under-21s are in action this afternoon as they host Aston Villa in the Barclays U21 Premier League.
Kevin Ball’s side have drawn two and lost one of their three games since the second phase of the league programme began last month.
They registered a goalless draw at near neighbours Middlesbrough last time out and coach Ball is expected to name another young side.
Forwards Ryan Noble (pictured) and Craig Lynch are the only players with competitive first-team experience, with five scholars named in the 15-man squad.
Visitors Aston Villa suffered a 2-0 defeat when they last visited Wearside back in November thanks to two goals from Connor Wickham.
However, the Midlands club extracted a measure of revenge 10 days later, winning 2-1 at Villa Park.
Alex Gorrin scored from the Black Cats, who dominated the game for long spells but were denied by a world-class performance by Villa keeper Craig Hill.
Villa sit a point above Sunderland in the league table having won one and lost one of their two outings so far.
The game will kick off at 1pm at the Academy of Light. Check safc.com later for a full report and reaction.
Sunderland (from): Wilson, Marrs, Ferguson, Laidler, Beadling, Dixon, Joyce, Honeyman, Harrison, McNamee, Mitchell, Gorrin, Ryan Noble, Mandron, Lynch.