Only John O'Shea has made more starts for the Black Cats than Bardsley this season, but the right-back has missed the last two games through suspension.
He and Jordan Mutch will be tasked with providing lone striker Frazier Campbell, formerly of Sunderland, with support as the Premier League's bottom two sides fight for crucial points in the relegation battle.
Sunderland: Mannone; Vergini, Brown, O'Shea, Alonso; Cattermole, Colback, Larsson, Johnson; Borini, Wickham
Subs: Ustari, Bardsley, Gardner, Altidore, Giaccherini, Bridcutt, Scocco
Cardiff: Marshall; Theophile-Catherine, Caulker, Cala, Fabio; Cowie, Medel, Whittingham, Daehli, Mutch; Campbell
Subs: Lewis, Turner, Jones, Eikrem, Zaha, Bellamy, John
You can follow the game at the Stadium of Light with Sports Mole's live text commentary.