Martin O'Neill was almost forced into two changes for tonight's game after John O'Shea and Lee Cattermole both left the weekend's defeat to West Bromwich Albion early through injury, but the captain overcame his problem and was deemed fit enough to start the game.
O'Shea however didn't make the game, replaced in the starting lineup by Matt Kilgallon, while Titus Bramble took Killa's spot on the bench.
Bramble was joined on the bench by Jack Colback, the youngster rested after a recent downturn in form.
Sunderland (4-4-1-1): Simon Mignolet; Phil Bardsley, Matt Kilgallon, Carlos Cuellar, Danny Rose; Adam Johnson, Lee Cattermole, Craig Gardner, Seb Larsson; Stephane Sessegnon; Steven Fletcher
Substitutes: Keiren Westwood, Fraizer Campbell, David Vaughan, Jack Colback, Louis Saha, Titus Bramble, James McClean
New Rangers boss Harry Redknapp opted for a familiar lineup of players, but no Sunderland return for Anton Ferdinand or Nedum Onuhoa in the starting lineup. Adel Taraabt, whom Redknapp never gave a league start to at Spurs and indeed loaned to Rangers, was included.
Queens Park Rangers (4-2-3-1): Julio Cesar; Jose Bosingwa, Clint Hill, Ryan Nelsen, Armand Traore; Stephane M'Bia, Samba Diakite; Adel Taraabt, Esteban Granero, Jamie Mackie; Djibril Cisse
Substitutes: Rob Green, Shaun Derry, Anton Ferdinand, Ji-Sung Park, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Junior Hoilett, Fabio Da Silva
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