Wes Brown made only his second start of the season for Sunderland's Stadium of Light clash against Liverpool.
Brown partnered ex-Liverpool man Sebastian Coates in central defence after skipper John O'Shea was ruled out with a calf injury.
The 36-year-old was one of four changes to the starting XI, with Jack Rodwell, Lee Cattermole and Jermain Defoe all coming into the side at the expense of Jordi Gomez, Danny Graham and Steven Fletcher.
Vito Mannone kept his place in goal after being preferred to Costel Pantilimon.
Sunderland: Mannone, Jones, Brown, Coates, van Aanholt, Cattermole, M'Vila, Rodwell, Johnson, Borini, Defoe. Subs: Pantilimon, Yedlin, Beadling, Watmore, Lens, Toivonen, Graham.
Liverpool: Mignolet, Clyne, Sakho, Lovren, Moreno, Can, Henderson, Lallana, Coutinho, Firmino, Benteke. Subs: Bogdan, Toure, Lucas, Ibe, Randall, Smith, Teixeira