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Sunderland defender Wes Brown could make a first competitive appearance for the club in almost 21 months against Newcastle on Sunday.

The 34-year-old former Manchester United star, whose last senior game came against Middlesbrough in the FA Cup in January last year, is available after ridding himself off a calf injury sustained in pre-season.

Midfielder Ki Sung-yueng, who was ineligible to play against parent club Swansea last weekend, also returns to the squad as the Black Cats attempt to secure a first Barclays Premier League victory of the season.

Newcastle boss Alan Pardew will make late decisions on central defenders Fabricio Coloccini and Steven Taylor ahead of Sunday’s derby trip to Sunderland.

Coloccini is battling his way back from a groin problem, while Taylor is nursing a hamstring injury, and while Pardew is yet to rule either out, both must be considered doubts.

Defender Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa is suspended following his red card in the 2-2 draw with Liverpool last Saturday, while midfielder Jonas Gutierrez remains in Argentina after being given leave to deal with a personal issue.

It is stupid to think no other game matters because, even if you won both derby matches in a season, you might go on to lose a cup final or be relegated. But try telling that to the supporters of Newcastle and Sunderland this weekend. The intensity, significance and propensity for crowd trouble in this battle for North East pride have risen in recent years as both clubs have stagnated. It is a wonderful occasion with an ugly side and it is one Gus Poyet and Sunderland desperately need to take something positive from. Neither manager, though, dare lose it.

Stat of the game: 5 There have been five red cards given in the last six Premier League derbies between these two sides.

Sunderland (Possible, 4-4-1-1): Westwood; Bardsley, O’Shea, Brown, Colback; Johnson, Ki, Cattermole, Giaccherini; Altidore; Fletcher.
Test: Brown (calf/shin).

Newcastle (Possible, 4-3-3): Krul; Debuchy, S Taylor, Williamson, Santon; Tiote, Sissoko, Cabaye; Ben Arfa, Sh Ameobi; Remy.
Out: Coloccini (groin/pelvis), Haidara (knee), R Taylor (knee), Yanga-Mbiwa (suspended), Gutierrez (personal leave).
Tests: S Taylor (hamstring), Coloccini (groin).

Referee: Lee Probert (Matches 5 R1 Y2)

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