JACK RODWELL took the place of the suspended Seb Larsson for Sunderland’s crunch clash against Crystal Palace.
Fit-again Rodwell - who missed the Wear-Tyne derby with a minor hamstring injury - was the like-for-like replacement for Larsson in the middle of the park, in the only change from Dick Advocaat.
Palace boss Alan Pardew made two changes, with Pape Souare and captain Mile Jedinak - back from suspension - preferred to Joe Ledley and Martin Kelly.
SUNDERLAND: Pantilimon, Jones, O’Shea, Vergini, van Aanholt, Cattermole, Rodwell, Gomez, Wickham, Fletcher, Defoe. Subs: Mannone, Coates, Bridcutt, Buckley, Graham, Johnson, Reveillere.
CRYSTAL PALACE: Speroni, Ward, Dann, Delaney, Soare, Jedinak, McArthur, Puncheon, Zaha, Bolasie, Murray. Subs: Hennessey, Hangeland, Sanogo, Gayle, Ameobi, Ledley, Kelly.