Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill has handed new signing Alfred N'Diaye his first start in a red and white shirt today at the DW Stadium, with winger James McClean moving to the bench for the tussle at Wigan Athletic.
N'Diaye will line up alongside David Vaughan in central midfield, adding some much needed power to the middle of the park.
Elsewhere, both John O'Shea and Steven Fletcher return from recent short spells on the sidelines, coming in as direct replacements for Matt Kilgallon and Connor Wickham respectively.
Phil Bardsley also drops to the bench, with Craig Gardner returning to right-back, and Seb Larsson back in the side at right-wing. Adam Johnson switches to the left wing to fill the gap left by the outgoing McClean.
Sunderland (4-4-1-1): Simon Mignolet; Craig Gardner, Jack Colback, John O'Shea (Captain), Titus Bramble; Seb Larsson, Adam Johnson, Alfred N'Diaye, David Vaughan; Stephane Sessegnon, Steven Fletcher
Substitutes: Keiren Westwood, Phil Bardsley, Matt Kilgallon, Ahmed Elmohamady, James McClean, James McFadden, Connor Wickham
Meanwhile, Wigan boss Roberto Martinez once again opts for his adventurous 3-4-3 formation.
Martinez's two newest signings, Angelo Henriquez and Roger Espinoza, may feature, but start today's game on the bench.
Arouna Kone, a key fixture in the starting XI for the Latics this season, misses out due to African Cup of Nations duty. In his place, the Wigan front three will consist of Franco Di Santo, Jordi Gomez and Shaun Maloney.
Wigan Athletic (3-4-3): Ali Al-Habsi; Gary Caldwell (Captain), Emmerson Boyce, Maynor Figueroa; James McCarthy, James McArthur, Jean Beausejour, Ronnie Stam; Franco Di Santo, Shaun Maloney, Jordi Gomez.
Substitutes: Joel Robles, David Jones, Angelo Henriquez, Callum McManaman, Roger Espinoza, Mauro Boselli, Romån Golobart.
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