Sunderland v West Brom

Sunderland welcome West Brom to the Stadium of Light on Saturday knowing nothing less than a win will do if they hope to beat the drop.

The Black Cats sit 18th in the Premier League standings, two points adrift of Norwich just above them with eight games remaining to stave off the threat of relegation.

Sam Allardyce’s side are winless in their last four league outings, although they have given themselves a fighting chance with three successive draws against Crystal Palace, Southampton and local rivals Newcastle most recently.

The Wearsiders started 2016 brightly following back-to-back wins over Aston and Swansea, but they have one managed one victory then – a 2-1 triumph over Manchester United in mid-February.

Albion, meanwhile, have lost just three times in the top flight since the turn of the year – a run that has almost certainly assured their survival.

However, Tony Pulis will be looking for a response from his charges after they suffered a 1-0 loss to Norwich prior to the international break, which halted a four-game unbeaten run.

The Baggies are just two points off the top 10 in 11th place and one shy of the 40-mark, which generally guarantees safety in the league.

In team news, the hosts are boosted by the return of Younes Kaboul, who was forced off with a calf injury in the 1-1 draw with the Magpies last time out.

Kaboul has returned to training and is available for selection, along with fellow centre-back Lamine Kone, full-back Billy Jones and midfielder Wahbi Khazri, the trio having all recovered from minor knocks.

Visiting boss Pulis remains without Chris Brunt (knee ligaments), James Morrison (hamstring) and Callum McManaman, although the midfielder is back in training and could make his comeback in the next two weeks.

Stephane Sessegnon is doubtful as the club await his return from international duty with Benin, which saw him miss training this entire week.

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