Sunderland v Boro preview
Bendtner missing due to broken nose; Thomson and Arca suspended
Last Updated: January 27, 2012 11:53am
Sunderland and Middlesbrough on Sunday lunchtime renew their derby rivalry at the Stadium of Light in the fourth round of the FA Cup.
The Wear-Tees foes have not faced each other in just more than three years following Middlesbrough's relegation from the Premier League.
That last meeting ended in a 1-1 draw at The Riverside, but Sunderland in 2008 won 2-0 in their most recent game at the Stadium of Light.
Middlesbrough's last derby win over their weekend hosts came almost six years to the day, having won 3-0 at Sunderland on 31st January 2006.
Sunderland fan Martin O'Neill will be aware of the significance of the match and the manager will want a repeat of the clinical performance in last weekend's win over Swansea, which lifted the Black Cats into the top half of the Premier League.
Middlesbrough, in contrast, make the short trip to the banks of the River Wear having suffered a shock defeat at lowly Coventry, which dented their hopes of automatic promotion from the Championship.
Sunderland, who defeated Peterborough in the third round, will be without striker Nicklas Bendtner after the Denmark international suffered a broken nose and other facial injuries during the victory over Swansea.
However, fellow frontman Fraizer Campbell is in contention after another appearance for the reserves on his return from a second serious knee injury.
Midfielder Jack Colback was on Friday expected to resume training following his recovery from an ankle problem.
Having overcome Shrewsbury in the last round, Middlesbrough's options will be limited by suspension, as they will have to do without Kevin Thomson and former Sunderland midfielder Julio Arca.
The pair were sent off during the defeat at Coventry, while goalkeeper Jason Steele remains a doubt with a thigh strain.
Danny Coyne shook off a calf problem to play at the Ricoh Arena, with teenager Connor Ripley standing by.
Striker Bart Ogbeche will miss out once again with the hamstring strain which has kept him out of the last two games.
Nicky Bailey is the only name on the long-term casualty list, with the midfielder almost four weeks into a recovery period of up to eight weeks after suffering medial ligament damage.