Lee Johnson’s side went all the way in this competition last season seeing off League Two side Tranmere Rovers in the final at Wembley Stadium.
And the Black Cats head to the side who defeated them in last season’s League One play-off semi-final to begin their defence.
Head coach Johnson is expected to experiment with his starting line-up with several Sunderland players away on international duty.
That could mean a place in the squad for Denver Hume who has yet to feature for the Wearsiders since agreeing a new deal at the Stadium of Light.
The fullback is recovering from an injury picked up in the first leg of that play-off semi-final with the Imps back in May.
But here, though, we take a look around League One at some of the things you might have missed.
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1. Owls to take another look at youngster
Sheffield Wednesday are keen to extend the stay of youngster Kwame Boateng according to reports from Yorkshire Live. Boateng has been on trial with the Owls in their under-23’s squad in recent weeks and reserve team boss Lee Bullen has been impressed with the defender. Bullen said: ““I will speak to Kwame today. I would like to get him in one more game against Peterborough. I think he has done well enough to have another look and we will then make a final decision on him.” (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
Photo: Ross Kinnaird
2. Oxford manger gives vaccine message
Oxford manager Karl Robinson has issued a warning to players who remain unvaccinated against COVID-19. It comes after Robinson was without a number of players during Saturday’s win over promotion rivals Sheffield Wednesday. Midfielders Gavin Whyte and Marcus McGuane both tested positive for the virus which also forced teammate Mark Sykes to miss out as a precaution. Whyte has since been removed from the Northern Ireland squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers and Robinson says his players have to accept the decisions being made. He told BanburyCake: ““From a manager’s point of view, it makes our job easier if you have the jab. Maybe the reality of this scenario might change one of two things.” He added: “I’d like my players to have the jab, that’s something they know. If you don’t have it, the world’s slightly different for you in the short term, maybe even the medium and long term. You’ve got to accept the regulations.” (Photo by Alex Burstow/Getty Images)
Photo: Alex Burstow
3. Cheltenham bring in former Arsenal man
Cheltenham Town have completed the signing of former Arsenal midfielder Dan Crowley on a short term deal. The Robins announced the 24-year-old will remain with the club until the New Year. Crowley brings League One experience to the Jonny-Rocks Stadium having spent part of last season on-loan with champions Hull City and has also been on the books at Birmingham City. Crowley is in line to make his debut for the club in tonight’s Papa John’s Trophy tie with Exeter City. (Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images)
Photo: Pete Norton
4. Grayson takes on Grayson
Former Black Cats boss Simon Grayson is preparing for a family reunion tonight as his Fleetwood Town side travel take on his son, Joe Grayson’s team, at Barrow in the EFL Trophy. Asked about the family rivalry, Grayson snr told the Fleetwood Weekly News: “I know a lot about Barrow because I watch them every Sunday morning, with my son being up there playing regularly for them." He added: "Professionalism comes in from the first kick. I’ll want to beat him and he’ll want to beat me. It will be strange for us both but ultimately we’re both winners and in the business of winning football games." (Photo by Lewis Storey/Getty Images)
Photo: Lewis Storey