Bramble in race to face Toon
Titus Bramble is Sunderland's only injury doubt ahead of Sunday's home derby clash with Newcastle but James McClean should be fit.
Black Cats boss Martin O'Neill is boosted by having a near fully-fit squad to select from for the Wear-Tyne showdown at the Stadium of Light, although central defender, Bramble, looks set to miss out against his former club due to a hip problem which has kept him out of training this week. Bramble will be assessed by Sunderland's medical team on Friday before a final decision will be made on whether he can feature. O'Neill told the Echo: "He's got a problem at the top of his hip. He's been uncomfortable for a little while now and been unable to train for the last couple of days. We'll see how he is today." If Bramble fails to make it then Carlos Cuellar is set to stay in the side have started the defeat at Manchester City before the international break. Meanwhile, 23-year-old McClean is set to be involved having overcome the groin injury which ruled him out of the Republic of Ireland's 6-1 defeat by Germany a week ago. The rest of Sunderland's international players, including Adam Johnson and Steven Fletcher, returned unscathed on Thursday, while Wes Brown remains a long-term absentee and skipper Lee Cattermole completes his three-match suspension.