Sunderland AFC news: Sam's 'super subs' a key weapon, Cats winger linked with move, Aston Villa target Bruce

Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce

Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce

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Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce believes his 'super subs' could prove the difference as the club battles to stay in the Premier League.

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Allardyce’s options have been boosted recently with the return to fitness of Younes Kaboul and Seb Larsson - with Jeremain Lens expected to be back from a hernia in time for the Tyne-Wear derby.

"The stronger your bench, the easier it is to make a decision to help the team," Allardyce told the Echo.

"If you can keep everyone fit, it provides a challenge to all the other players who are in the starting XI."

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Sunderland outcast Emanuele Giaccherini has been linked with a summer move to Chelsea - IF Antonio Conte takes charge at Stamford Bridge.

Italy coach Conte is expected to be named the new Chelsea boss in the summer and sources in Italy claim he wants to make winger Giaccherini one of his first signings.

Giaccherini is currently on a season-long loan deal with Serie A club Bologna, having failed to make a significant impact at the Stadium of Light in the last two years.

It would seem a highly unlikely move but he has scored six goals in 19 games this term and is reported to have caught the eye of Conte.

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Meanwhile, former Sunderland manager Steve Bruce has been linked with a sensational move to Aston Villa in the summer.

Bruce is currently in charge of Championship side Hull City, who are battling for promotion back to the Premier League.

But in today's Mirror, Bruce has been linked with a move to doomed Villa - who are facing relegation from the top flight after an awful campaign.

They claim Villa will approach Bruce to replace Remi Garde if the embattled Frenchman quits this summer to return to Lyon.

And finally, we are holding a live Q&A with Sunderland reporter Chris Young from noon.

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We will have the latest on Sunderland's search for a new chief executive in the wake of Margaret Byrne's resignation, the latest transfer news plus we take a look ahead to the Tyne-Wear derby at St James's Park.