Gus Poyet has opted to make just two changes to the side that drew with Southampton. Sunderland's back five seems to be a fairly settled unit now, with Phil Bardsley, Wes Brown, John O'Shea and Marcos Alonso starting ahead of Vito Mannone for every game since the first leg against Manchester United. In midfield Lee Cattermole has retained his place despite a disappointing performance against Southampton - his work-rate off the ball was likely to have been the factor that persuaded Poyet to give him another chance. However, Seb Larsson's poor showing has seen him dropped to the bench with Jack Colback taking his place. Alongside them Ki Sung-Yeung also lines up in midfield. The Korean has arguably been Sunderland's best player under Poyet and will doubtless be a hugely important influence if Sunderland manage to get through to the final.
On the wings, Adam Johnson was always going to start considering the fantastic run of form he's in, and on the other flank Fabio Borini's work-rate and recent goals have made sure he keeps his place ahead of countryman Emanuele Giaccherini. After an impressive cameo at the weekend, and the news that he has recovered from his inflamed achilles injury, Steven Fletcher has once again been rotated into the side with Jozy Altidore making way. With the American on the bench I wouldn't be surprised if once again the starting striker was disappointing and the substitute more impressive following his introduction in the second half.
On the bench new signings centre-back Santiago Vergini and goalkeeper Oscar Ustari make their first appearances in the Sunderland squad. Craig Gardner is also available on the bench, and hopefully able to make the same impact as he did against Southampton should he be needed.
Sunderland (4-3-3): Vito Mannone; Phil Bardsley, John O'Shea, Wes Brown, Marcos Alonso; Lee Cattermole, Jack Colback, Ki Sung-Yeung; Adam Johnson, Steven Fletcher, Fabio Borini
Substitutes: Oscar Ustari, Santiago Vergini, Ondrej Celustka, Seb Larsson, Craig Gardner, Emanuele Giaccherini, Jozy Altidore.
Meanwhile David Moyes is without his two key men, Wayne Rooney and Robin Van Persie, which is doubtless a boost to our hopes of reaching the final. Nemanja Vidic serves the first game of his three match ban after his appeal was rejected yesterday, with Chris Smalling slotting in at centre-back in his place whilst Patrice Evra is only fit enough for the bench after he limped off against Chelsea. With the Frenchman out of the starting line-up Alexander Buttner deputises (setting up a promising game for Adam Johnson), with Darren Fletcher, Shinji Kagawa and Javier Hernandez all also coming into the starting eleven. The season's break out star for United, Adnan Januzaj, moves out wide to make room for the Mexican striker.
Manchester United (4-4-2): David De Gea; Rafael da Silva, Chris Smalling, Jonny Evans, Alex Buttner; Adnan Januzaj, Michael Carrick, Darren Fletcher, Shinji Kagawa; Danny Welbeck, Javier Hernandez
Substitutes: Anders Lindegaard, Patrice Evra, Phil Jones, Tom Cleverley, Ryan Giggs, Ashley Young, Antonio Valencia.