Sunderland vs Aston Villa team news: Steven Fletcher and Christian Benteke return for their respective sides

The sides are hovering above the relegation zone

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The Independent Football

Steven Fletcher makes his first league start for Sunderland since January for the visit of Aston Villa.

With the two teams hovering just above the relegation zone, the Black Cats have Lee Cattermole missing as he starts a two match ban for accumulating 10 bookings. Adam Johnson is also out due to an ongoing police investigation.

Fletcher plays up front alongside Jermain Defoe.

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Christian Benteke returns from a hip injury for Aston Villa after missing the FA Cup quarter-final win over West Brom.

Ron Vlaar and Kieran Richardson though miss out, despite hopes that they could have returned.

Sunderland: Pantilimon, Reveillere, van Aanholt, Brown, O'Shea (c), Bridcutt, Larsson, Rodwell, Alvarez, Defoe, Fletcher

Subs: Jones, Wickham, Gomez, Graham, Coates, Vergini, Mannone

Aston Villa:  Guzan, Lowton, Okore, Clark, Bacuna, Delph (c), Cleverley, Sinclair, N’Zogbia, Benteke, Agbonlahor

Subs: Given, Gil, Sanchez, Kinsella, Weimann, Westwood, Hepburn-Murphy

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