“Tough one “:Three players set to miss next match due to disciplinary rule after Swansea and Ipswich draws…

Three players to miss Sunderland vs Birmingham City due to disciplinary rule after Swansea and Ipswich draws…

Sunderland are preparing for Saturday’s Championship fixture against Birmingham City at the Stadium of Light.

Birmingham midfielder Krystian Bielik will miss Saturday’s match against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season.

Bielik has started 14 of the Blues’ 15 league games this campaign but came off the bench during their 2-2 draw against Ipswich, as Wayne Rooney’s side squandered a two-goal lead at St Andrew’s.

Poland international Bielik, 25, was brought on in the 73rd minute but was booked for a foul on Dane Scarlett nine minutes later. EFL rules state a player will receive a one-game suspension if they pick up five yellow cards up until the 19th game of the season.

The draw against Ipswich means Birmingham have taken just one point from four games since Rooney replaced John Eustace as manager at St Andrew’s, with the side dropping to 15th in the Championship table.



“I’m seeing improvement every week,” said Rooney after the match. “There were good signs against Southampton last week too – and we’ve now improved on that against a good, tough Ipswich Town side. We got the team organised, on the front foot, and for 45 minutes we were excellent. That dropped a bit second half and we conceded two goals, which was obviously disappointing.

“The subs have to do better when they come on. But I’m pleased with the overall performance levels. It’s different to what the players had been used to – and we knew it was never going to happen overnight.”

Sunderland will also be without centre-backs Luke O’Nien and Dan Ballard against Birmingham at the Stadium of Light, after both received their fifth yellow card of the season during Saturday’s goalless draw at Swansea.

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