Simon Grayson's preparations for the crucial clash with QPR have been hit by injuries to three centre-backs.
Billy Jones is set to deputise at the heart of defence with Marc Wilson, Lamine Kone and Tyias Browning all missing from the squad.
There is more positive news higher up the pitch with Duncan Watmore starting and Lewis Grabban returning to the squad.
Sunderland XI: Steele; Matthews, O'Shea, Jones, Oviedo; Honeyman, Cattermole, Ndong, McGeady; Vaughan, Watmore
Subs: Ruiter, Grabban, Love, Williams, McManaman, Watmore, Gibson