Gus Poyet was able to limit himself to just two changes despite a plethora of absentees at Manchester City. Santiago Vergini replaced the suspended Phil Bardsley, whilst Seb Larsson came into midfield for the injured Ki Sung-Yueng.
The lengthy list of unavailable players was evident on the bench, where Charis Mavrias, El-Hadji Ba and Liam Agnew all came in.
Sunderland: Vito Mannone, Santiago Vergini, Marcos Alonso, Wes Brown, John O'Shea (c), Lee Cattermole, Jack Colback, Seb Larsson, Adam Johnson, Fabio Borini, Connor Wickham
Substitutes: Jozy Altidore, El-Hadji Ba, Emanuele Giaccherini, Nacho Scocco, Charis Mavrias, Liam Agnew, Oscar Ustari
Manchester City welcomed back Sergio Aguero, who once again did that 'recover just in time to play Sunderland' thing of his. The equally influential pair of Yaya Toure and David Silva were missing from the midfield, though.
Manchester City: Joe Hart, Pablo Zabaleta, Vincent Kompany, Martin Demichelis, Aleksandar Kolarov, James Milner, Javi Garcia, Fernandinho, Samir Nasri, Sergio Aguero, Alvaro Negredo
Substitutes: Costel Pantilimon, Joleon Lescott, Micah Richards, Gael Clichy, Jack Rodwell, Edin Dzeko, Stevan Jovetic