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Sunderland vs. Aston Villa: Confirmed line-ups

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Gus Poyet sprang a surprise up front.

Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Gus Poyet opted for Steven Fletcher over Connor Wickham up front for the game with Aston Villa.

Adam Johnson's continued, errrr... absence... meant a start for Ricky Alvarez in a more aggressive side than the one that started at Hull, with Patrick van Aanholt also coming back into the side.

In terms of shape, it looked very 4-4-ish-2, though probably more likely to be a diamond in the midfield rather than a flat four, with Alvarez behind the front two.

Sunderland (4-4-2): Costel Pantilimon, Anthony Reveillere, Patrick van Aanholt, Wes Brown, John O'Shea, Liam Bridcutt, Seb Larsson, Jack Rodwell, Ricky Alvarez, Jermain Defoe, Steven Fletcher.

Subs: Billy Jones, Connor Wickham, Jordi Gomez, Danny Graham, Sebastian Coates, Santiago Vergini, Vito Mannone.

Aston Villa: Brad Guzan, Matthew Lowton, Jores Okore, Ciaran Clark, Leandro Bacuna, Fabian Delph, Tom Cleverley, Scott Sinclair, Charles N'Zogbia, Christian Benteke, Gabriel Agbonlahor.

Subs: Shay Given, Carles Gil, Carlos Sanchez, Lewis Kinsella, Andreas Weimann, Ashley Westwood, Rushian Hepburn-Murphy.