SUNDERLAND head coach Gus Poyet was as good as his word as right-back Billy Jones and winger Will Buckley were handed Barclays Premier League starts against Swansea.
The Uruguayan had promised both would be in the team after impressive displays in Capital One Cup defeat to Stoke in midweek, and they were included once again as Vito Mannone, Lee Cattermole, Sebastian Larsson and Connor Wickham returned.
Santiago Vergini stayed in central defence alongside John O’Shea, with injury ruling out Wes Brown. Poyet had no defenders on the seven-man bench.
Swansea boss Garry Monk also made four changes to the side which knocked Everton out of the cup with Lukasz Fabianski, Angel Rangel, Wayne Routledge and former Black Cats loanee Ki Sung-yueng replacing Gerhard Tremmel, Ashley Richards, Tom Carroll and Jefferson Montero.
Striker Wilfried Bony was on the bench following his one-game ban, with Bafetimbi Gomis leading the Swansea attack.
Sunderland: Mannone, Jones, O’Shea, Vergini, Van Aanholt, Cattermole, Johnson, Larsson, Rodwell, Buckley, Wickham. Subs: Pantilimon, Bridcutt, Fletcher, Gomez, Altidore, Mavrias, Alvarez.
Swansea: Fabianski, Rangel, Fernandez, Williams, Taylor, Dyer, Ki, Sigurdsson, Shelvey, Routledge, Gomis. Subs: Bony, Emnes, Carroll, Montero, Tremmel, Bartley, Richards.
Referee: Chris Foy (Merseyside)
* Don’t miss tonight’s last ever online Football Echo for the best coverage of Sunderland v Swansea – plus much more. It’s on sunderlandecho.com from 6.45pm