Gus Poyet named a strong team for the FA Cup tie with Bradford at Valley Parade.
Wes Brown was brought into the heart of the Sunderland defence, and the system changed to what appears to be a 4-4-2 with Ricky Alvarez and Adam Johnson providing the width for a front two of Steven Fletcher and Danny Graham.
There was no Jermain Defoe or Jack Rodwell at all, and Billy Jones came in at right back for the injured Anthony Reveillere.
Sunderland (4-4-2): Vito Mannone; Billy Jones, Patrick van Aanholt, Wes Brown, John O’Shea; Liam Bridcutt, Seb Larsson, Adam Johnson, Ricky Alvarez, Steven Fletcher, Danny Graham
Subs: Costel Pantilimon, Connor Wickham, Jordi Gomez, Sebastien Coates, Santiago Vergini, George Honeyman, Liam Agnew
I'm far from an expert on Bradford City, and I won't pretend otherwise, but there were familiar names in the shape of former Sunderland duo Jon Stead and Billy Knott. On-loan Sunderland goalkeeper Jordan Pickford was not given permission to play.
Bradford: Ben Williams, Stephen Darby, Rory McArdle, Andrew Davies, James Meredith, Gary Liddle, Filipe Morais, Billy Knott, Billy Clarke, James Hanson, Jon Stead
Subs: Matthew Urwin, Alan Sheehan, Francois Zoko, Mark Yeates, Gary MacKenzie, Christopher Routis, Andy Halliday