Bent's £24m move to Aston Villa last Tuesday has left manager Steve Bruce short of attacking options and Asamoah Gyan starts up front on his own.
He is likely to be supported by Ahmed Elmohamady and Kieran Richardson, with Steed Malbranque linking midfield and attack.
Bruce knows all about the importance of del;ivering at Bloomfield Road, where Blackpool have been impressive this season.
BLACKPOOL (4-3-3): Kingson; Eardley, Cathcart, Evatt, Crainey; Vaughan, Adam, Grandin; Phillips, Taylor-Fletcher, Varney. Subs: Rachubka (gk), Southern, Harewood, Ormerod, Baptiste, Euell, Sylvestre.
SUNDERLAND (4-2-3-1): Gordon; Onuoha, Bramble, Ferdinand, Bardsley; Henderson, Zenden; Elmohamady, Malbranque, Richardson; Gyan. Subs: Mignolet (gk), Angeleri, Da Silva, Riveros, Reid, Colback, Mensah