Martin O'Neill stuck with a familiar lineup and resisted the urge to bring back Phil Bardsley from the start, instead sticking with Craig Gardner at right back. Danny Rose was also deemed mentally OK to start after the abuse suffered in Serbia earlier in the week.
Adam Johnson and James McClean are also in from the start in an attacking midfield, with both overcoming illness and injury. Stephane Sessegnon partners Steven Fletcher in attack.
Sunderland (4-4-1-1): Simon Mignolet; Craig Gardner, Carlos Cuellar, John O'Shea, Danny Rose; Jack Colback, Seb Larsson, Adam Johnson, James McClean; Stephane Sessegnon, Steven Fletcher
Substitutes: Keiren Westwood, Phil Bardsley, Fraizer Campbell, Matt Kilgallon, David Meyler, David Vaughan, Louis Saha.
Alan Pardew welcomes back Tim Krul and Fabricio Coloccini from injury, and also there's a start for Shola Ameobi in attack. Clearly it seems the self-styled "Pardiola" is a little worried about this one and having to bust out his emergency weapon from the beginning rather than as an impact substitute.
In funnier news Steven Taylor is on the bench. Having claimed earlier in the week that none of our players would get into the Newcastle team, it also appears that he can't either.
Newcastle United (4-4-2): Tim Krul; Danny Simpson, Mike Williamson, Fabricio Coloccini, Davide Santon; Hatem Ben Arfa, Yohan Cabaye, Cheik Tiote, Jonas Gutierrez; Demba Ba, Shola Ameobi
Substitutes: Steve Harper, Steven Taylor, Shane Ferguson, James Perch, Vurnon Anita, Gabriel Obertan, Papiss Cisse
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