Danny Graham returned from injury in midweek but cannot face parent side Sunderland due to conditions of his loan deal. Sone Aluko and Robbie Brady remain doubtful, according to Steve Bruce, though Abdoulaye Faye returned to the bench for the midweek cup clash with Spurs and is in contention. Fit-again Robert Koren could make his first league start since September, whilst Jake Livermore is also available after he was unable to face parent club Spurs last week. Allan McGregor and James Chester remain sidelined, as is Alex Bruce, who was forced off with a groin problem in the midweek cup defeat at White Hart Lane.
Sunderland head coach Gus Poyet has no injury problems ahead of the game. Poyet must decide whether to give forward Fabio Borini a place in the starting XI after his derby-winning goal last weekend. The likes of Craig Gardner, Emanuele Giacherrini and Ki Sung-Yeung will be pushing for starts after warming the bench last time around.