Gus Poyet's side claimed its first maximum point haul on the road this season against Everton last time out, and now face a team with just one win in eight.
Gus Poyet's men have endured a miserable year, narrowly avoiding relegation last season under former boss Paolo Di Canio, and winning only three times in the current league campaign.
However, the team enjoyed a surprise 1-0 win over Everton on Boxing Day and will seek to end 2013 on a positive against another club involved in the relegation fight.
Ki Sung-Yueng was the man who scored the all-important goal and the Swansea City loanee will look to make it three goals in four Sunderland games on his return to Wales.
Cardiff, which sits in 16th place, are four points ahead of the visiting side and, following Thursday's comprehensive 3-0 home defeat to Southampton, have won just once in eight top-flight games.
The club has also scored only twice in six Premier League games and will come up against a Sunderland side which has kept three league clean sheets in a row.
But if is off-field issues that have dominated the headlines at the Cardiff City Stadium, with manager Malky Mackay's position having come under severe threat after an apparent disagreement with owner Vincent Tan.
Chairman Mehmet Dalman said the club would consider replacing the manager if Mackay and Tan could not resolve their differences.
However, the Scot remains at the helm and certainly has the full support of the fans, as evidenced by their vocal backing for the 41-year-old before, during and after the Southampton game.
The head-to-head record makes pleasant reading for those traveling from the north east, with Sunderland winning on its last two visits to Cardiff.
However, Ki's penalty at Goodison Park was Sunderland's first goal on the road since August and Poyet will no doubt remain concerned by his side's toothless attack away from home.
He has no fresh injury concerns as John O'Shea could make a return from his shoulder injury although defensive partner Wes Brown remains suspended.
Cardiff's only likely absentee is Craig Bellamy, who is suffering with a knee injury.