The January buy from Sheffield United, whose opportunities have been limited in the Black Cats' recent resurgence, partners former Tigers defender Michael Turner at the heart of the defence.
Otherwise it is the same Sunderland team which defeated Burnley last weekend, with youngsters David Meyler and Jordan Henderson preferred to Lorik Cana in midfield.
Hull, who need to avoid defeat in their attempts to stay in the top-flight, include teenage Geordie striker Mark Cullen on the bench.
HULL CITY (4-4-2): Duke; Mendy, Dawson, Gardner, Mouyokolo; Bullard, Geovanni, Boateng, Barmby; Folan, Altidore. Subs: Myhill (gk), Fagan, Cullen, Kilbane, Sonko, Olofinjana, Cairney.
SUNDERLAND (4-4-2): Gordon; Hutton, Turner, Kilgallon, Richardson; Campbell, Meyler, Henderson, Malbranque; Bent, Jones. Subs: Carson, Bardsley, Da Silva, Ferdinand, Zenden, Cana, Benjani.