Stephane Sessegnon attacks the Hibs defence.
Stephane Sessegnon attacks the Hibs defence.
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SUNDERLAND rounded off their pre-season campaign with an uninspiring stalemate at Hibernian this afternoon.

Steve Bruce gave a clear hint of the side likely to feature at Liverpool next Saturday by naming several first-choice players in the starting line-up. But several places remain up for grabs as the Black Cats finished on level terms with the SPL side.

Phil Bardsley holds off two Hibs players.

Phil Bardsley holds off two Hibs players.

The Black Cats had the chances to head into the Premier League curtain-raiser with a win under their belts, but couldn’t find a way past a determined Hibs defence.

Stephane Sessegnon was again at the heart of much of Sunderland’s good work, but the Benin international was as culpable as the rest of his team-mates when it came to finishing anything in the final third.

The impressive Seb Larsson headed Sessegnon’s cross high and wide in the first half, but it was Asamoah Gyan who spurned the most glaring opportunity of the opening 45 minutes when he mistimed his header from Larsson’s corner.

Sunderland continued to create half-chances after the break, substitute Ji Dong-won missing the best of them when he lost his balance as he tried to hit a shot on the turn.

It meant the Black Cats finished their pre-season schedule with a record of four wins, three draws and two defeats.

Read full match report in today’s Football Echo.