Jack Rodwell lined up against his former club Everton in Sunderland colours at Goodison Park on Wednesday.
Sunderland take on a struggling Everton side who have lost their last four games on the bounce.
Aston Villa boss Steve Bruce refused to let Tommy Elphick leave for Sunderland on deadline day - only to omit him from the squad.
Everton loaned Brendan Galloway to Sunderland hoping he could overcome his nightmare spell at West Brom.
Sunderland sold back-up goalkeeper Vito Mannone to Championship rivals Reading in the summer - and then failed to replace him adequately.
Sunderland goalkeeper Robbin Ruiter left fans divided with a mixed performance at Hull City's KCom Stadium.
Tyler Roberts' West Brom contract expires next summer and he has attracted interest from Sunderland, Ipswich Town and Brighton.
AC Milan were battered 4-1 by Lazio in Serie A and ex-Sunderland striker Fabio Borini suffered the brunt of the criticism.
Tyler Roberts is one of West Brom's most highly-rated young players but could surprisingly be allowed to leave for Sunderland according to reports.
Sam Johnstone shone again for Aston Villa while Robbin Ruiter struggled for Sunderland in a home defeat to Sheffield United.
With Sunderland on the cusp of relegation from the Premier League, will highly-rated Jordan Pickford be packing his bags in the summer?
With Sunderland seemingly set for relegation to the Championship, should David Moyes be sacked? Or will the club show faith in him for next season?
After signalling his intent to remain in the Premier League to prolong his international career, could Jermain Defoe trade Sunderland for Newcastle United?