Sunderland boss Steve Bruce will be without key defender Titus Bramble.
The 29-year-old is suspended following his sending-off in last weekend’s 5-1 derby defeat at Newcastle, and his place is likely to be taken by Ghana international John Mensah.
Mensah, Kieran Richardson, Bolo Zenden and record signing Asamoah Gyan are all in the running for places in the starting line-up, with Bruce having already confirmed the striker will play as the Black Cats attempt to bounce back from a bad day at the office at St James’ Park.
A bout of flu is threatening to disrupt the manager’s preparations, although he otherwise has no new problems with David Meyler (knee) having returned to action for the reserves in midweek and only Fraizer Campbell (also knee) on the long-term casualty list.
Goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen is contesting a place in Stoke’s starting line-up with Asmir Begovic after returning to fitness.
The Denmark international missed the defeat at Everton with an elbow problem and his stand-in did a good enough job for manager Tony Pulis to admit he has a big decision to make on who to choose.
Pulis is hopeful of having Ricardo Fuller on the bench after the striker missed the last three games with a dislocated shoulder, but midfielder Rory Delap (calf) is more of a doubt.
Sunderland (from): Mignolet, Gordon, Onuoha, Bardsley, Richardson, Angeleri, Turner, Ferdinand, Mensah, Da Silva, Cattermole, Riveros, Henderson, Malbranque, Elmohamady, Zenden, Bent, Gyan, Welbeck.
Stoke (from): Begovic, Sorensen, Huth, Faye, Shawcross, Collins, Etherington, Pennant, Whelan, Whitehead, Walters, Fuller, Jones, Gudjohnsen, Wilkinson, Higginbotham, Tuncay, Delap, Diao, Wilson.