Martin O'Neill was without captain Lee Cattermole and vice captain John O'Shea for this encounter, leading to another start for Matt Kilgallon at the heart of the defence with Craig Gardner returning to central midfield and partner Seb Larsson.
James McClean made a return to the side to lineup wide in midfield, no doubt alternating with Adam Johnson from time to time.
In the absence of Cattermole and O'Shea, Phil Bardsley was handed the captaincy. No room for Louis Saha among the substitutes.
Sunderland (4-4-1-1): Simon Mignolet; Phil Bardsley, Matt Kilgallon, Carlos Cuellar, Danny Rose; Seb Larsson, Craig Gardner, James McClean, Adam Johnson; Stephane Sessegnon; Steven Fletcher
Substitutes: Keiren Westwood, Fraizer Campbell, David Vaughan, Jack Colback, James McFadden, Connor Wickham, Titus Bramble.
Norwich gaffer Chris Hughton went with an unchanged starting lineup from their last game against Southampton.
England international John Ruddy continues to miss out through injury, but Sunderland will have to be on guard against the dangerous front two of Wes Hoolahan and Grant Holt, who've both been in very good form of late.
Norwich City (4-4-2): Mark Bunn; Javier Garrdio, Sebastian Bassong, Ryan Bennett, Steven Whittaker; Anthony Pilkington, Bradley Johnson, Alexander Tettey, Robert Snodgrass; Wes Hoolahan, Grant Holt
Substitutes: Declan Rudd, Russell Martin, Simeon Jackson, Johnny Howson, Steve Morison, Elliot Bennett, Leon Barnett
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