Sunderland welcomed Lee Cattermole and Anthony Reveillere back into the side for the visit of in-form WBA, with Jermain Defoe also being declared fit to return to the side.
Gus Poyet, however, opted to leave Patrick van Aanholt on the bench, while former Baggie Billy Jones wasn't involved at all. Danny Graham was handed another chance to impress up front in what looked like a 4-4-2 system.
Sunderland (4-4-2): Costel Pantilimon; Santiago Vergini, Anthony Reveillere, John O'Shea, Wes Brown; Adam Johnson, Seb Larsson, Lee Cattermole, Ricky Alvarez; Danny Graham, Jermain Defoe.
Subs:Patrick van Aanholt, Liam Bridcutt, Steven Fletcher, Connor Wickham, Jordi Gomez, Sebastian Coates, Vito Mannone.
Former Sunderland favourite Stephane Sessegnon was only named on the bench for WBA, but fellow ex-Black Cat Craig Gardner was named in the starting eleven.
WBA: Ben Foster, Craig Dawson, Gareth McAuley, Joleon Lescott, Chris Brunt, James Morrison, Darren Fletcher, Claudio Yacob, Craig Gardner, Brown Ideye, Saido Berahino.
Subs: Boaz Myhill, Andre Wisdom, Jonas Olsson, Chris Baird, Youssouf Mulumbu, Stephane Sessegnon, Callum McManaman.