- Premier League
Terry and Lampard set to return for Chelsea
Chelsea skipper Terry and midfielder Lampard are on the way back from knee and calf problems respectively and Benitez, whose side lost 3-1 at West Ham in his third game in charge, says both could feature against the struggling Black Cats.
However, neither player is likely to play in the Champions League game against Nordsjaelland - a game Chelsea must win, while hoping that Juventus lose if they are to stay in the competition.
Benitez - again given a hostile reception by Chelsea fans at Upton Park - was quoted by the Sun as saying: "Terry will train part of the session on Monday so hopefully will be close although, with the knee, you never know.
"Frank will train on Monday as well. Sunderland? We will see. I will talk with them and then the doctor afterwards.
"Normally I wouldn't play them if it was not necessary, but a lot of players can play with problems. It depends on the risk. But character and leadership are necessary in a team."
Benitez said Chelsea, who led West Ham 1-0 at half-time before slumping to defeat, had not shown character or quality, adding: "Jose Mourinho's Chelsea team had a lot of character, but it is a different time now."