Following a frustrating fixture at St Mary’s, Liverpool will be looking to claim all three points this weekend as they take on Sunderland at Anfield.
Chelsea overtook Liverpool last week with a 1-0 win over Middlesbrough and, with the Pensioners taking on Tottenham this weekend, Jurgen Klopp’s men are in a decent position to reclaim the top spot.
Last season, Liverpool failed to do the double over Sunderland – drawing at Anfield but winning at the Stadium of Light.
Sunderland may pose more of a threat than we think – a hard thing to argue when David Moyes is on the sidelines, mind – they’ve had a poor run this season but they’ve now won two games on the bounce.
That being said, The Reds are now unbeaten in 13 games so all bets should be safe on Klopp’s men avoiding defeat for a 14th consecutive time but a win would add even more fuel to talks of the Premier League title coming to Anfield.
Adam Lallana will still be unavailable for Liverpool as he recovers from his injury he picked up on England duty, Klopp has confirmed this.
Addressing the midfielder’s spell on the sidelines during coverage of the encounter, Klopp said he expected him to miss “two or three games.”
In Lallana’s absence, Jordan Henderson, Gini Wijnaldum and Emre Can are expected to continue as Liverpool’s three-man midfield.
The recently injured trio of Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Nathaniel Clyne were all in training too, as expected, and youngsters Trent Alexander-Arnold, Ovie Ejaria and Ben Woodburn were also pictured.
Sunderland’s Paddy McNair was injured in his side’s 3-0 win over Hull City – the Northern Irishman will miss the rest of the season because of the cruciate knee ligament injury.
Recovering from a hamstring injury, Jason Denayer is a doubt for Sunderland. There are several Black Cat players that will definitely be unavailable and they are former Everton player Jack Rodwell, former Liverpool player Fabio Borini and lover of a strong tackle, Lee Cattermole.
Interestingly, it’s been 1,297 days since Rodwell won a Premier League game when he started.
It might be a blessing for them that he’s injured!
Liverpool (last six results in all competitions) –
Crystal Palace 2-4 Liverpool
Liverpool 2-1 Spurs
West Brom 1-2 Liverpool
Liverpool 0-0 Man United
Swansea 1-2 Liverpool
Southampton 0-0 Liverpool
Sunderland (last six results in all competitions) –
Sunderland 1-1 West Brom
Stoke 2-0 Sunderland
West Ham 1-0 Sunderland
Sunderland 1-4 Arsenal
Bournemouth 1-2 Sunderland
Sunderland 3-0 Hull
Sunderland have began to look like an actual team recently. Having spent much of the season looking like an unorganised mess, the Black Cats finally look like a threat… of sorts.
Don’t let their current form fool you, the last two wins are their first of the season.
They do have a danger spot though; Jermaine Defoe is a player who can create a goal out of nothing and, to be honest, that’s exactly what he has to do in Moyes’ team.
With that being said, I can see Liverpool conceding a goal. Like we did against Hull, I think we’ll be that confident on the attack that our defence might knock it down a notch.
Ultimately, this won’t matter. Klopp’s men should run riot against the second worst team in the Premier League.
I predict that Liverpool will win by a decent margin. I’m going to say it’ll finish 3-1 to The Reds but it wouldn’t surprise me if Liverpool got a fourth or a fifth.
Then again, I wouldn’t be surprised if Defoe has two shots all game and walks away with a brace – even if his team can’t get a point.
If you’d like to strongly disagree with me or remind me of what I’ve written after Defoe records a hat-trick of hat-tricks to fire Sunderland into a 9-0 lead in the first half, you can find me on Twitter – @StefanoHairon.