GK: Anthony Patterson
Saturday’s number one Jon McLaughlin is away on international duty so is unable to play this game, although it’s unlikely he would have played after the blunder he made on Saturday anyway.
Lee Burge is back in training after missing the last few weeks with a thigh injury, and whilst it appears the former Coventry City stopper is now seen as Phil Parkinson’s number one, he may see it as a risk by playing him considering that League One is priority.
That means that youngster Anthony Patterson is likely to start this evening, especially after his outstanding performance against Liverpool under-23’s on Sunday - a game which Parkinson had attended.
RB: Mumba CB: Taylor CB: Lynch LB: Hume
With Conor McLaughlin on international duty and Luke O’Nien in need of a rest, teenager Bali Mumba is likely to make his second appearance of the campaign at right-back.
On the opposite flank, Denver Hume has been passed fit and should come back in after missing the last few games.
In the middle of the defence, Steve Parkin hinted that Brandon Taylor would be given a chance in defence after a relatively impressive performance against Liverpool under-23s, but he is likely to be partnered by experience of Joel Lynch, who he played alongside in the 3-2 win over Grimsby Town.
CM: Leadbitter CM: Dobson
Skipper Grant Leadbitter has been virtually ignored by Phil Parkinson in League One action, but has been an ever-present for Sunderland in the Leasing.com Trophy this season and will likely start.
Alongside him will be George Dobson. The former Walsall captain has been one of Sunderland’s better players in the past few weeks and will want to keep himself sharp, with Saturday’s game against Bristol Rovers called off due to international call ups.
Dylan McGeouch has an outside chance of starting the game, but his disastrous performance in last week’s defeat to Leicester City’s under-21’s is fresh in the mind and means he may need to be content with a place on the bench.
RM: Watmore CM: Maguire LM: Kimpioka
Assuming that Parkinson continues with an advanced midfield three, we expect Duncan Watmore will start the game on the right having missed out on a starting berth in our 1-1 draw to Gillingham at the weekend.
On the left-hand side, there’s likely to be another opportunity for Swedish youth international Benji Kimpioka.
Whilst he played poorly in last week’s EFL Trophy defeat, it’s obvious the manager thinks he has something to offer the first team and will see tonight’s game as another opportunity for the 18-year-old to impress.
The number ten role can be occupied by one of Luke O’Nien or Chris Maguire, but it appears Parkinson will likely rest O’Nien, as he has done so far in the EFL Trophy, so ‘The King’ should continue in his favoured role.
CF: Marc McNulty
The on-loan Reading striker will be given a further opportunity to impress in the cup after looking lively in the FA Cup on Saturday.
With Will Grigg drawing another blank, Parkinson will start with McNulty this evening in the hope he throws down the gauntlet to the other strikers by notching a few goals.
There’ll be competition from youngsters Lee Connelly and Cieran Dunne, but the 27-year-old will get the nod to lead the line tonight.