Quite typically there is only bad news when it comes to injuries with Jan Kirchhoff suffering a set back on his road to recovery.
Today's match had been penciled in as a potential return for the German, however it transpires his knee injury is taking far longer to recover than anticipated. We will be lucky to have Kirchhoff back in time for May and things don't get much better for key players Victor Anichebe and Lee Cattermole. Both are hoping to feature throughout April, though due to their lengthy lay-offs I wouldn't be surprised if we are looking more at the West Ham game for their returns to the starting line up. David Moyes does have one fresh face to select, Jason Denayer is available again after he was ineligible during our defeat to Manchester City.
Moyes will no doubt have December's horror show at Turf Moor in mind, which could twist his arm to revert to five at the back once more. Given that we are at home and are more desperate for a win than perhaps we have ever been, I can't see even Moyes going defensive today.
At the back Moyes seems to have a settled defensive line up with Jordan Pickford keeping a firm grip on the goalkeeper gloves. Lamine Kone and John O'Shea are expected to continue their partnership, keeping summer signing Papy Djilobodji on the bench. Bryan Oviedo and Billy Jones will start in the full back positions.
In front of the back four will be where the changes are made. Darron Gibson was a doubt earlier in the week but is expected to start whilst Seb Larsson's place is under serious threat from the returning Denayer. I'd expect the City loanee to get the nod, given how hapless Larsson has been for much of this campaign. Didier Ndong is expected to continue his role further up the field.
Up top, the trio of Adnan Januzaj, Fabio Borini and England's Jermain Defoe will bear the burden of creating and scoring Sunderland's goals. Moyes finally commented on Wahbi Khazri's omission from the squad, citing his lack of ball retention skills and disappointing substitute performances, it's a good suggestion the Tunisian won't be starting anytime soon.
Expected line up;
Pickford, Kone, O'Shea, Jones, Oviedo, Gibson, Denayer, Ndong, Januzaj, Borini, Defoe.
Thoughts on the potential line up? Let us know what you think in the comments below or on Twitter @WeAreWearside or Facebook.