Jason Steele will make his first Sunderland appearance since the 2-1 defeat to Bristol City last October against Middlesbrough this weekend.
Robbin Ruiter has started every game since the arrival of Chris Coleman but the manager has repeatedly praised Steele's attitude and will reward him with a place in the side against his former club.
Coleman said: "Steele will start this weekend. He deserves a go, he's worked hard. Robbin has been in the chair and kept four clean sheets since we came in so we've stuck with him but we'll give Steele a run out. I don't think there's much between them anyway."
Elsewhere, the Black Cats boss is facing a major injury crisis and admits he may only have 11 senior players available.
Lee Cattermole, Jonny Williams, Duncan Watmore, Lamine Kone, Lewis Grabban, Jack Rodwell Didier Ndong are all still missing, while Lynden Gooch is likely to be out for another ten days.
Marc Wilson is a major doubt after missing the defeat to Barnsley, though he did train on Thursday.
As did Paddy McNair, but the midfielder is now a doubt with the groin injury that kept him out of action for around a month. Aiden McGeady and Adam Matthews are also set to miss out with Coleman likely to name a very youthful bench for the clash.