Date:Tuesday October 17 2006
Darren Ward could make his first ever Sunderland appearance at Stoke tonight.
The former-Norwich City goalkeeper has been made to watch from the bench as Ben Alnwick has stood between the sticks all season. But his recent dip in form is worrying and Roy Keane could replace Alnwick with some experience.
Some critics say Alnwick feels daunted by the task of ordering his ageing defence around - a defence that includes Stanislav Varga and Kenny Cunningham.
Ward, 32, joined Sunderland on a free transfer during the summer.
Meanwhile, defender Clive Clarke could be dropped in-favour of Robbie Elliot for Sunderland's trip to The Britannia Stadium whilst Liam Miller is expected to replace the injured Liam Lawrence (groin).
Also, Sunderland's summer signing from Barcelona, Arnau, could make an appearance - replacing Grant Leadbitter in the centre of midfield.
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