Sunderland striker Asamoah Gyan is out after returning from international duty with a hamstring injury so loan signing Nicklas Bendtner could made his debut.
Defender John O'Shea is also out after suffering a calf strain in the Republic of Ireland's 0-0 draw with Slovakia and joins Craig Gordon, Fraizer Campbell and David Meyler (all knee) on the sidelines, while Anton Ferdinand has left the club for QPR.
New signing Raul Meireles could make his Chelsea debut.
Petr Cech, David Luiz and Daniel Sturridge are also in contention for a starting place at the Stadium of Light, but Didier Drogba is still recovering from a head injury.
Cech is back sooner than expected from a knee problem, Luiz has recovered from a thigh complaint and Sturridge is available following his three match ban, while Michael Essien (knee) is a long-term absentee.
Sunderland (from): Mignolet, Westwood, Bardsley, Brown, Richardson, Turner, Bramble, Laing, Cattermole, Gardner, Vaughan, Colback, Elmohamady, Bendtner, Sessegnon, Wickham, Ji, Cook.
Chelsea (from): Cech, Ivanovic, Bosingwa, Ferreira, Terry, Luiz, Alex, Cole, Mikel, Romeu, McEachran, Lampard, Ramires, Meireles, Mata, Malouda, Torres, Anelka, Sturridge, Kalou, Lukaku, Hilario.