Sunderland boss Steve Bruce is looking forward to being able to partner Lee Cattermole and Lorik Cana in midfield.
Cattermole made his long-awaited return from injury in the weekend defeat at Manchester City.
But Cattermole's partnership with Cana could not be rekindled as the Albanian star was suspended.
However, Cana will be back to face Everton at the Stadium of Light on Boxing Day and Bruce is relishing having both in the same team.
"They did drive the team forward and, make no mistake, we are a better team when those two are in it, that's for sure," Bruce said of his talismanic midfielders.
"We missed them. Cattermole came back into the team (at City) and the level of the team performance goes up. I am not just saying by him, but he adds to it.
"They are both highly competitive, that's why I brought them to the club.
"I just think you need, and I am not just talking about going around kicking people, that's not my scene at all, a competitive edge and a physical strength to compete in the Premier League, and those two epitomise what I am looking for."