GRANT LEADBITTER will make his first appearance of the season as part of a strong Sunderland line-up for this evening's Carabao Cup first-round game at Accrington Stanley.

Jack Ross has made six changes from the side that started last weekend's 1-1 draw at Ipswich Town, but with his team still looking for their first win of the season, Ross has avoided the temptation to name a host of youngsters.

The Sunderland boss also looks to have changed his formation, ditching the three centre-half system he fielded in the first two league games for a flat back four.

Summer signing Lee Burge makes his competitive Sunderland debut in goal, with Alim Ozturk returning to the defence.

Leadbitter partners Max Power at the heart of midfield, with Lynden Gooch and Chris Maguire expected to start in the wide midfield positions.

Will Grigg is recalled in attack, and is set to start alongside summer signing Marc McNulty, who is still searching for his first Sunderland goal.

Accrington (4-4-2): Evtimov; Johnson, Sykes, Barclay, Hughes; Clark, Finley, Bishop, McConville; Maguire, Baker-Richardson.

Subs: Bursik, Edwards, Sherif, Pritchard, Francis-Angol, Carvalho, Conneely.

Sunderland (4-4-2): Burge; O'Nien, Willis, Ozturk, C McLaughlin; Gooch, Leadbitter, Power, Maguire; McNulty, Grigg.

Subs: J McLaughlin, Flanagan, Baldwin, Embleton, Dobson, McGeady, Wyke.