Sunderland have been dealt a blow at right back with Santiago Vergini joining Billy Jones on the injury list. That means an opportunity for Valentin Roberge, with Wes Brown presumably filling in down the right.
Elsewhere, Seb Larsson got the nod in midfield over Jordi Gomez, whilst Vito Mannone was chosen in goal ahead of Costel Pantilimon.
Summer signings Patrick van Aanholt and Jack Rodwell make their debuts. Will Buckley is on the bench.
Sunderland (4-3-3): Mannone; Brown, O'Shea, Roberge, Van Aanholt; Cattermole, Rodwell, Larsson; Johnson, Fletcher, Wickham.
Subs: Pantilimon, Bridcutt, Mavrias, Altidore, Graham, Buckley, Gomez.
For West Bromwich Albion, former Sunderland midfielder Craig Gardner makes a full debut, but rather surprisingly Stephane Sessegnon has to be content with a spot on the bench.
WBA (4-2-3-1): Foster, Wisdom, Dawson, Olsson, Pocognoli; Mulumbu, Gardner; Brunt, Dorrens, Berahino; Anichebe.
Subs: Myhill, Ideye, Davidson, O’Neil, Sessegnon, Yacob, Baird.