Gus Poyet has opted to stick with three at the back, but has more surprisingly dropped captain John O'Shea for the returning Carlos Cuellar. Phil Bardsley and Marcos Alonso are again deployed as wing backs, and again Liam Bridcutt and Lee Cattermole will be sitting deep in midfield. Ahead of them Ki Sung-Yueng and Adam Johnson are deployed in support for lone striker Fabio Borini. The return of Johnson to the starting line-up and the fielding of Borini as a lone striker hopefully should add some attacking edge to the defensive solidity provided by three centre backs.
On the bench Wickham and Scocco provide the striking options as Jozy Altidore fails to even make the bench, with yet another nail being hammered into the coffin of his Sunderland career as Gus decides it's better for him to play for the U-21s than the senior side tonight.
Sunderland (5-2-2-1): Vito Mannone; Phil Bardsley, Santiago Vergini, Wes Brown, Carlos Cuellar, Marcos Alonso; Liam Bridcutt, Lee Cattermole; Ki Sung-Yueng, Adam Johnson; Fabio Borini
Substitutes: Oscar Ustari, John O'Shea, Seb Larsson, Craig Gardner, Jack Colback, Connor Wickham, Nacho Scocco.
Meanwhile, divisive performance art project Tim Sherwood has gone back to 4-4-2, with Adebayor returning to be partnered by young Harry Kane in attack. In defence he has the new partnership of Kaboul and Chirches flanked by the awful Naughton and the out of form Danny Rose, whilst central midfield is patrolled by Nacer Chadli and Paulinho. It has to be said, this is a Spurs defence that you have to hope our three best players in Ki, Johnson and Borini can really get at.
On the flanks Eriksen will look to cut inside to get closer to the strikers, whilst Aaron Lennon will be hoping to bomb past Alonso should he get caught upfield.
Tottenham Hotspur (4-4-2): Hugo Lloris; Kyle Naughton, Vlad Chiriches, Younes Kaboul, Danny Rose; Aaron Lennon, Nacer Chadli, Paulinho, Christian Eriksen; Emmanuel Adebayor, Harry Kane
Substitutes: Brad Friedel, Zeki Fryers, Milos Veljkovic, Nabil Bentaleb, Sandro, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Andros Townsend.