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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5. Cook given deadline
Paul Cook is on thin ice with the Ipswich Town manager being given until Christmas to get things right at Portman Road. That is the report from Vital Ipswich after the Tractor Boys have made a lacklustre start to the League One season despite a summer of mass upheaval. Cook’s side have won just twice this campaign and slipped to their fourth defeat in 10 against Accrington Stanley last weekend. Cook recently claimed Ipswich are the biggest and best club in League One and optimism was somewhat restored after an emphatic win over Doncaster Rovers last week. But it was a case of another false dawn for Cook and his side at the Wham Stadium as the American owners at Portman Road finally appear to be losing patience with the clubs slow start. (Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images)
Photo: Pete Norton
6. Oxford youngster to extend loan deal
Oxford United’s teenage prospect Tyler Goodrham is to extend his loan stay at Southern Premier League leaders Hayes & Yeading. The 18-year-old scored on his debut and has impressed in his first month with the club which has led to an extension being triggered. Oxford academy manager Dan Harris said: “It’s a great experience for Ty who has been playing well and we are getting very positive reports on his progress. That has led to teams higher up the pyramid asking about his availability, which is nice, but the loan has worked well so far and we are happy to extend it. (Photo by Alex Burstow/Getty Images)
Photo: Alex Burstow
7. Mariners to keep Owls midfielder
Grimsby Town are keen to extend the loan-stay of Alex Hunt from Sheffield Wednesday. Grimsby Live reports the Owls midfielder is currently with the National League side until January but the Mariners have been impressed with his start to life at Blundell Park and are hoping to secure his services beyond the New Year until the end of the season. Hunt made his debut for Wednesday against the Black Cats in a League Cup tie in 2018 at the Stadium of Light. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Photo: Laurence Griffiths
8. Portsmouth can't get carried away
Portsmouth skipper Lee Brown has stressed the importance of not getting carried away after his side humbled the Black Cats last weekend. Brown was one of the scorers as Pompey cruised to a comfortable 4-0 win at a soaked Fratton Park.“We put in a performance that totally warranted the scoreline and the boys showed plenty of character. If we hadn’t done that, then we could have gone under against a side that were top of the league and coming down to Fratton Park on a great run of form. He added: “We had to stand up and be counted and – to a man – that’s exactly what we did to get the three points. But it’s all very well doing it for one game – we’ve got to find that level on a consistent basis. We can’t get too carried away. It’s important now that we just take matches one at a time and don’t look too far ahead of ourselves. (Photo by Alex Burstow/Getty Images)
Photo: Alex Burstow