January signings Lamine Kone and Jan Kirchhoff were both handed their first Sunderland starts for the visit of title-chasing Manchester City.
Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce sprang a surprise with his starting XI by returning to a 5-4-1 set-up, which included both £5million capture Kone and Kirchhoff - who had endured such a harrowing debut against Spurs - in central defence.
Fellow new boys Wahbi Khazri and Dame N'Doye were on the bench, as Fabio Borini, Jeremain Lens and Jermain Defoe formed a front three.
Sunderland: Mannone, Jones, O’Shea, Kone, Kirchhoff, van Aanholt, Cattermole, M’Vila, Borini, Lens, Defoe. Subs: Pickford, Brown, N’Doye, Johnson, Khazri, Yedlin, Watmore.
Manchester City: Hart, Sagna, Demichelis, Otamendi, Clichy, Fernandinho, Yaya Toure, Navas, Silva, Aguero, Iheanacho. Subs: Caballero, Kolarov, Zabaleta, Fernando, Celina, Barker, Sterling