Steve Bruce welcomes back the in-form Danny Welbeck for the clash with Blackpool, as the Sunderland boss nurses a team currently depleted by more injuries than any other in the Premier League.
Welbeck, on loan from Manchester United, was ineligible for the Boxing Day trip to Old Trafford, while first choice centre-backs Michael Turner and Titus Bramble remain sidelined.
Possible starting XI: Gordon; Elmohamady, Onuoha, Ferdinand, Bardsley; Henderson, Riveros, Zenden; Welbeck, Bent, Gyan.
Blackpool, meanwhile, prepare for their first match since December 11, having seen games at Bloomfield Road against Tottenham and Liverpool postponed due to the recent cold snap.
Nonetheless, the recent break in the fixtures has done little in terms of recovery time for Ian Holloway’s absentees.
First choice goalkeeper Matt Gilks remains sidelined with a knee injury, while summer signing Marlon Harewood is ruled out with a hamstring injury, but Charlie Adam returns from suspension.
Possible starting XI: Kingson; Eardley, Cathcart, Evatt, Crainey; Grandin, Vaughan, Adam; Taylor-Fletcher, Campbell, Varney.
Having not featured since December 11, Holloway will be hoping that his side can thaw out the form which had seen them lose just one out of their last seven having picked up a fantastic 1-0 victory away to Stoke City last time out.