Bruce has stuck with the same 11 players that secured a comfortable 3-0 home win over Blackburn Rovers last weekend.
That means Darren Bent continuing his attacking partnership with Danny Welbeck, with Ghana international Asamoah Gyan once again named on the bench.
In the continued absence of the injured Lee Cattermole, a fit-again David Meyler once again partners Jordan Henderson at the heart of a youthful midfield.
ASTON VILLA (4-4-1-1): Friedel; Cuellar, Dunne, Collins, Clark; Downing, Petrov, Reo-Coker, A Young; Agbonlahor; Heskey.
Subs: Marshall (gk), Bannan, Lichaj, Herd, Pires, Albrighton, Delfouneso.
SUNDERLAND (4-4-2): Gordon; Bardsley, Bramble, Ferdinand, Richardson; Elmohamady, Henderson, Meyler, Malbranque; Welbeck, Bent.
Subs: Mignolet (gk), Angeleri, Da Silva, Adams, Riveros, Zenden, Gyan.