DANNY GRAHAM made his first start under Dick Advocaat for Sunderland’s crunch clash against Southampton.
Graham replaced Will Buckley in the starting XI in a 4-3-3 system, as one of two changes from Advocaat.
Seb Larsson returned to the side after his two-game ban, with the Swedish international taking the place of Jack Rodwell.
There was also a place on the bench for Adam Johnson - his first appearance in the squad since being charged for three offences of sexual activity with a child under 16 years old, plus one offence of grooming.
Southampton made two changes, with Victor Wanyama and Shane Long coming in for Steven Davis and the injured Morgan Schneiderlin.
SUNDERLAND: Pantilimon, Jones, O’Shea, Coates, van Aanholt, Cattermole, Larsson, Gomez, Wickham, Defoe, Graham. Subs: Mannone, Bridcutt, Rodwell, Johnson, Reveillere, Vergini, Buckley.
SOUTHAMPTON: K Davis, Clyne, Yoshida, Fonte, Bertrand, Alderweireld, Wanyama, Ward-Prowse, Long, Mane, Pelle. Subs: Gazzaniga, Gardos, S Davis, Djuricic, Elia, Reed, Targett.