Hull City manager Steve Bruce has warned his side to be wary of a resurgent Sunderland.
Gus Poyet's men earned their first Premier League victory of the campaign when they triumphed 2-1 over Newcastle United in Sunday's local derby, moving them off the foot of the table.
Hull have made a solid start upon their return to the top flight, with 11 points amassed from nine fixtures.
But they head into the showdown at the KC Stadium on the back of consecutive losses in the Premier League, and also exited the League Cup in a penalty shoot-out defeat to Tottenham on Wednesday.
And Bruce, who had a two-year spell in charge at Sunderland, believes the Stadium of Light outfit will travel in high spirits.
"Sunderland had a great win last weekend and that will have given everybody there a lift," he said.
"If you're going to win your first home game as the new manager against Newcastle, it gets you off on the right foot.
"They're going through a period of change with new players and two managers in the space of a few months so they'll be looking for a sustained path of calm and they need a few results to take them in that direction.
"Gus seems to have gone back to the players he knows – the (Phil) Bardsleys, the (Lee) Cattermoles, the (Jack) Colbacks – and they produced a result for him."
Despite their recent losses Bruce insists he is happy with Hull's performance levels, but admitted he could look to rotate his starting line-up for the fixture.
"I can afford to make two or three changes to freshen us up this weekend," he continued.
"We're playing well at the moment, even though we haven't got the results. I've been delighted with the way we've played against Spurs twice and against Everton.
"Let's hope the level of performance stays high because if it does then we've got every chance."comments