Manager Steve Bruce is ready to offer record signing Asamoah Gyan his first Premier League start in a bid to solve Sunderland's problems in front of goal.
The Ghana international arrived at the Stadium of Light after his World Cup performances this summer in a £13million-plus deal from French club Rennes.
But Bruce has eased Gyan into life in England and his only first-XI outing to date came in the Carling Cup third-round defeat to West Ham at the end of September.
The Black Cats have severely struggled for goals during that time and they have become overly-dependent on the six league goals of Darren Bent, which was evident in last Sunday's Tyne-Wear horror-show against Newcastle.
As a result, Bruce is ready to unleash Gyan on Stoke this weekend, saying: "He is something different. I am sure he will be a big hit in the Premier League.
"He is a little bit off the wall and he will do things that will frustrate you, but he's got that little bit of brilliance that can win you a match.
"We have invested a lot of money in the kid and I hope he can come in and give us the spark which the crowd will enjoy.
"It's a response to what happened last week. Our Achilles heel is we haven't scored enough, so I just think it is right, after what has happened this week, that we give the kid his chance and say, 'here we go'.
"I think he can give everybody a spark and a lift."
Bruce is also aware that his decision to sell Kenwyne Jones to Stoke in the summer was justified.
The Sunderland boss said: "I don't think Kenwyne will have anything to prove. We all know here Kenwyne on his day is a very, very good player.
"I just think it ran its course here and in management, you make big decisions. It enabled me to bring in Asamoah and do something a little bit different, so I wish him well.
"There was never any falling out, as some people said. I wish him well in his career - but obviously not Saturday."
What will be the outcome in the match Sunderland vs Stoke?