New Head Coach Paolo Di Canio was always likely to shake things up but few would have predicted this lineup as Danny Graham was dropped to the bench with Connor Wickham given the nod and Matt Kilgallon is a surprise inclusion at the back with Titus Bramble making way completely, not even a spot on the bench for the blundering centre back. Phil Bardsley is also set to play in the right-back spot with a central role on the cards for Craig Gardner.
There are also spots on the bench for Mikael Mandron and the fresh-faced forward Jordan Laidler.
Sunderland (4-4-2): Simon Mignolet; Phil Bardsley; John O'Shea (c), Matt "Matty" Kilgallon, Danny Rose, Sebastian Larsson, Craig Gardner, Alfred "Big Alf" N'Diaye, Adam "Former England International" Johnson, Stephane Sessegnon, Connor Wickham
Meanwhile Rafa Benitez shuffled his pack following Chelsea's busy recent schedule, making five changes from the side which turned out in the Europa League midweek: