Two-game ban forces Sunderland’s Gardner out of derby

Sunderland's Craig Gardner fouls Demba Ba.
Sunderland's Craig Gardner fouls Demba Ba.
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SUNDERLAND will miss Craig Gardner for this Sunday’s Tyne-Wear derby.

The former Birmingham City midfielder picked up a booking in yesterday’s defeat at Chelsea, following a heavy challenge on striker Demba Ba which could have landed him a red card, and reached 10 yellow cards for the season.

He will be suspended for the visit to Newcastle and the home clash with Everton on April 20, giving head coach Paolo Di Canio a headache in midfield.

Sunderland have not revealed the full extent of the knee injury, sustained in training on Saturday, which forced striker Danny Graham out of the starting line-up yesterday.

Meanwhile, Mikael Mandron was on the bench for the second successive match, while fellow striker Jordan Laidler was in the matchday 18 for the first time. He has netted four times for Kevin Ball’s Under-21s this season.