Lee Cattermole was recalled to the Sunderland line-up for today's crunch clash against West Brom.
Cattermole was preferred to Jack Rodwell in midfield after the Teessider is understood to have impressed on the training ground over recent weeks.
That was the only change from boss Sam Allardyce, who kept faith in DeAndre Yedlin, despite the on-loan Spurs defender only returning to training on Friday after international duty.
Seb Larsson got the nod ahead of Jeremain Lens among the substitutes.
Craig Gardner and Jonny Evans were the ex-Sunderland players in the West Brom line-up, with James McClean on the bench and Stephane Sessegnon not involved.
Sunderland: Mannone, Yedlin, Kaboul, Kone, van Aanholt, Kirchhoff, Cattermole, M'Vila, Khazri, Borini, Defoe. Subs: N'Doye, Pickford, O'Shea, Jones, Rodwell, Toivonen, Larsson.
WBA: Foster, Dawson, McAuley, Evans, Chester, Gardner, Sandro, Yacob, Fletcher (c), Berahino, Rondon. Subs: Myhill, Olsson, McClean, Lambert, Pritchard, Anichebe, Leko