DANIEL BALLARD will make his senior Sunderland debut in this afternoon's Championship season opener against Coventry City.

Ballard joined the Black Cats from Arsenal this summer, and will start today's game alongside Danny Batth at the heart of the back four.

Dan Neil and Corry Evans will play in central midfield, with Alex Neil having opted for Elliot Embleton and Jack Clarke in the wide attacking positions.

Alex Pritchard will fill the number ten role, with last season's leading scorer, Ross Stewart, leading the line in attack.

Loanee Ellis Simms is named on the substitutes' bench after completing his season-long loan move from Everton on Friday morning.

SUNDERLAND (4-2-3-1): Patterson; Gooch, Ballard, Batth, Cirkin; Evans, Neil; Embleton, Pritchard, Clarke; Stewart.

Subs: Bass, Wright, Alese, Simms, Roberts, Hume, O'Nien.

COVENTRY (4-2-3-1): Moore; Panzo, Hyam, McFadzean, Eccles; Bidwell, Hamer; Sheaf, Allen, Godden; Gyokeres.

Subs: Wilson, Doyle, Rose, Walker, Dabo, Tavares, Palmer.