WILL BUCKLEY and Sebastian Coates came into the Sunderland side for the trip to Stoke City after Dick Advocaat opted against selecting Adam Johnson.
Advocaat had indicated in his pre-match press conference that Johnson was available, despite being charged with three counts of sexual activity with a child under 16 and one of grooming.
But Johnson did not travel with the rest of the Sunderland squad for the clash in the Potteries, with Will Buckley taking the place of the injured Steven Fletcher - the winger’s first start since January.
Buckley’s inclusion was one of two changes to the starting XI, with on-loan Liverpool centre-half Sebastian Coates making only his fourth Premier League start for Sunderland in place of fellow South American Santiago Vergini.
Youngsters George Honeyman and Liam Agnew were both on the bench, but surprisingly, Under-21 team-mate Duncan Watmore did not travel with the squad.
Stoke made just one change, with Charlie Adam replacing Glenn Whelan in central midfield.
STOKE: Begovic, Cameron, Shawcross, Wollscheid, Pieters, Nzonzi, Adam, Walters, Ireland, Arnautovic, Diouf. Subs: Butland, Bardsley, Whelan, Odemwingie, Wilson, Sidwell, Crouch.
SUNDERLAND: Pantilimon, Jones, O’Shea, Coates, van Aanholt, Gomez, Cattermole, Rodwell, Buckley, Wickham, Defoe. Subs: Mannone, Bridcutt, Reveillere, Graham, Vergini, Honeyman, Agnew.]
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