Danny Welbeck, ineligble to play under Premier League rules, is replaced by Bolo Zenden who receives his first league start of the season. Steed Malbranque is expected to move on to the left flank with a central three of Zenden, Lee Cattermole and Jordan Henderson.
Simon Mignolet has been preferred to Craig Gordon, who is back in full training and made a return to action in the reserves in midweek.
Wayne Rooney does not feature for United despite returning to training this week after an ankle injury, while top scorer Dimitar Berbatov is on the bench. Paul Scholes starts after returning from injury. United start with former Newcastle United striker Michael Owen up top with Federico Macheda.
SUNDERLAND (4-5-1): Mignolet; Onuoha, Turner, Bramble, Bardsley; Elmohamady, Zenden, Cattermole, Henderson, Malbranque; Bent. Subs: Gordon (gk), Gyan, Riveros, Reid, Mensah, Ferdinand, Da Silva.
MANCHESTER UNITED (4-4-2): Van der Sar; Rafael, Vidic, Ferdinand, O' Shea; Anderson, Scholes, Fletcher, Nani; Macheda, Owen. Subs: Kuszczak, Evra, Berbatov, Smalling, Chicarito, Bebe, Gibson.
REFEREE: Chris Foy (Merseyside)