Gus Poyet has underlined his belief in the importance of the cups by naming a strong side to face Carlisle.
Wes Brown makes his return from suspension to take up the armband and lead Sunderland out. However, he is the only recognised centre back named in the team. I imagine that we will either see Ondrej Celustka lining up next to Big Bad Wes with Craig Gardner at right back, or Ki dropping into defence as he did in the League Cup final for Swansea last season with Gardner taking a place in the centre of midfield.
If Gus is anticipating dominating possession then perhaps having Ki as a ball-playing centre half dictating play could be his plan.
Duncan Watmore also gets to make his first appearance in a senior team squad, with the young forward's exciting performances for the Under-21's rewarded as Poyet names him on the Sunderland bench. However, there are still no appearances for summer signings Charis Mavrias, David Moberg-Karlsson or Cabral.
Considering that Mavrias and Cabral have previously played in Champions League fixtures, I'd say their non-inclusion in the squad for this fixture could be a sign that they just simply are not highly rated enough by Gus Poyet.
Sunderland (4-3-3): Vito Mannone; Craig Gardner, Ondrej Celustka, Wes Brown, Andrea Dossena; Ki Sung-Yeung, Seb Larsson, Jack Colback; Adam Johnson, Jozy Altidore, Ji Dong-Won
Substitutes: Jordan Pickford, Phil Bardsley, El-Hadji Ba, Emmanuele Giaccherini, Duncan Watmore, Fabio Borini, Steven Fletcher.
Meanwhile Graham Kavanagh returns to the Stadium of Light and has brought two, slightly less welcome, old boys along with him.
Liam Noble starts as the creative hub in the Carlisle midfield, whereas Pascal Chimbonda has to be content with a place on the bench.
Carlisle United (4-3-3): Greg Fleming, Brad Potts, Sean O'Hanlon, Max Ehmer, Matthew Robson, Prince Buaben, Liam Noble, James Berrett, David Amoo, Lewis Guy, Tom Lawrence
Substitutes: Lewis Brass, Conor Townsend,Lee Miller, Mark Beck, David Symington, Courtney Meppen-Walter, Pascal Chimbonda