Gus Poyet opts to make two changes from the midweek cup victory over Manchester United. It's hardly surprising that the enigmatic Adam Johnson replaces the enigmatic Emanuele Giaccherini, who drops to the bench. The other change comes in midfield, where Jack Colback comes in for Seb Larsson. Maybe a bit harsh on Seb but he has played two games already in the last 7 days.
You feel this is a real opportunity for AJ. He's impressed in his last two outings and he really needs to grab this opportunity with both hands and prove his quality in this massive game. He could be our match winner.
Sunderland (4-3-3): Vito Mannone, Phil Bardsley, Wes Brown, John O'Shea, Marcos Alonso, Ki Sung-Yeung, Jack Colback, Lee Cattermole, Adam Johnson, Steven Fletcher, Fabio Borini
Substitutes: Jordan Pickford, Ondrej Celutska, Craig Gardner, Sebastian Larsson, Emanuele Giacccherini, Ji Dong-Won, Jozy Altidore
Meanwhile Rene Meulensteen is still without Hangeland and Stekelenberg. Clint Dempsey returns to the Premier League making his second debut for the club where he made his name. A certain Darren Bent is on the bench. He'll be looking to make an impact if he gets a chance from the bench and really rub salt in the wounds of his former employers. Still hate him.
Fulham (4-2-3-1): David Stockdale, Sasha Riether, Philippe Senderos, Fernando Amorbieta, John Arne Riise, Damien Duff, Scoitt Parker, Steve Sidwell, Clint Dempsey, Adel Taarabt, Dimitar Berbatov
Substitutes: Neil Etheridge, Kieron Richardson, Aaron Hughes, Pajtim Kasami, Alex Kacaniklic, Ashkan Dejagah, Darren Bent