ANTON FERDINAND is a notable absentee from the Sunderland starting line-up that faces Tottenham at the Stadium of Light this afternoon.

Ferdinand suffered an injury in training yesterday morning and that has opened the door for Tal Ben-Haim to operate in his preferred central defensive role.

Ben-Haim has played the last two matches as a full-back, but Ferdinand's set-back has allowed Phil Bardsley to enjoy a recall.

Kenwyne Jones, the man targeted by Spurs in January, lines up alongside Djibril Cisse in attack again, after the Frenchman was omitted from the first XI at Arsenal and Liverpool.

SUNDERLAND (4-4-2): Fulop; Bardsley, Ben-Haim, Collins, McCartney; Malbranque, Whitehead, Richardson, Reid; Cisse, Jones. Subs: Gordon, Edwards, Murphy, Leadbitter, Davenport, Healy, McShane.

TOTTENHAM (4-4-2): Gomes; Corluka, King, Woodgate, Chimbonda; Lennon, Jenas, Palacios, Modric; Bent, Keane. Subs: Zokora, Bentley, Huddlestone, Pavlyuchenko, Dawson, Cudicini, O’Hara.