Martin O'Neill had changes to make with Danny Rose being unavailable to face his parent team under the terms of his loan deal. To combat this the gaffer opted to switch Matt Kilgallon to left-back with John O'Shea recovering from illness to retake a spot in central defence and the captaincy.
Elsewhere there was a rare outing on the bench for Ji Dong-Won as Louis Saha seems to be completely and utterly out of favour at the moment. Phil Bardsley has suffered a recurrence of the knock which kept him to limited action over the festive period.
Contrary to popular belief, David Meyler has NOT yet been recalled from loan at Hull City and he's in their squad to face Leeds United today.
Sunderland (4-4-1-1): Simon Mignolet; Craig Gardner, John O'Shea, Matt Kilgallon, Carlos Cuellar; Adam Johnson, James McClean, Seb Larsson, Jack Colback; Stephane Sessegnon, Steven Fletcher
Substitutes: Keiren Westwood, Connor Wickham, James McFadden, David Vaughan, Ji Dong-Won, Titus Bramble, Fraizer Campbell
Tottenham Hotspur boss Andre Villas-Boas has shuffled his pack and left out Jan Vertonghen from the starting lineup, but on a positive for the Londoners Moussa Dembele has overcome his struggles to be able to start today's game.
William Gallas also misses today's game as Michael Dawson and Steven Caulker are given the nod in central defence.
Tottenham Hotspur (4-4-2): Hugo Lloris; Kyle Walker, Kyle Naughton, Michael Dawson, Steven Caulker; Sandro, Moussa Dembele, Aaron Lennon, Gareth Bale; Emmanuel Adebayor, Jermaine Defoe
Substitutes: Brad Friedel, Clint Dempsey, Jan Vertonghen, Tom Huddlestone, Scott Parker, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Jake Livermore