Carling had four games at half-back in the league and Europe before reverting to his normal position of centre when Harlequins lost to Brive in the Heineken Cup on Sunday.
In a much reshuffled back division, Gary Connolly also returns to centre. Jamie Williams, Harlequins' new wing, plays at full-back, which allows a recall for Michael Corcoran on the wing. Nick Walshe is at scrum-half.
Jim Staples, Paul Challinor and Huw Harries are all rested. The only change in the pack is the recall of Rory Jenkins in the back row for Mick Watson.
Sale welcome back the former England scrum-half Dewi Morris, who has been out of action for a month after suffering cracked ribs in the match against Bristol. Simon Mannix is also expected to play, despite nursing the shoulder injury he suffered during Sale's European Conference match against Agen at the weekend.
John Mitchell, who suffered a groin strain in that match, is not fit to face Leicester. Adrian Hadley has a damaged knee so Chris Yates moves to inside centre.
In the pack, the Smith twins, Paul and Andrew, are back together in the front row. Dave Baldwin has recovered from a cold so Dave Eskine moves out to cover for Mitchell in the back row.
Rory Underwood returns on the wing for Leicester, who have made a number of changes for their league match with London Irish at Welford Road.
Underwood, dropped for the first time by Leicester for the European Cup game against Pau last Saturday, is restored to the team with Steve Hackney rested. It is Hackney's first break from action after a run of 23 successive matches.
With Leicester in the middle of a hectic two games a week schedule, they are taking the opportunity to use all their squad players.
Leon Lloyd switches wings to allow Underwood to return, and Greg Austin comes in at centre in place of Stuart Potter, who suffered a leg injury during the win at Pau.
Among other changes, Aadel Kardooni replaces Austin Healey at scrum-half, Will Johnson comes in for John Wells at flanker, and Neil Fletcher replaces Matt Poole at lock.Reuse content