Liverpool travel to the Stadium of Light on the back of an impressive win at home over league leaders Leicester City. They dominated Leicester throughout the game leaving the side frustrated with lack of opportunities presented. Their hosts Sunderland, on the other hand, have lost their last 4 games, shipping 11 goals in the process and would be keen to reverse their fortunes in the game against the Reds.
The club have certain injury concerns at the back with Kaboul out and O’Shea doubtful after suffering a knock. We could see some changes in the starting line up from the previous game, especially with Jermaine Defoe set to feature, which could mean that either Borini or Fletcher could start on the bench.
Liverpool have a few injury concerns themselves with the likes of Gomez, Ings and Skrtel injured. However, the team that started against Leicester performed with admirable calm and technical efficiency and we believe that Klopp will start with the same team, except for the one change forced due to injury, with Benteke replacing Origi.
This will be the 160th meeting between these two teams in all competitions with Liverpool having won 73 games to Sunderland’s 51 victories.
Sunderland have beaten the Merseyside club only on 1 occasion in the last 10 meetings.
Alberto Moreno has been the most creative defender in the Premier league having created 35 chances.
Pantilimon, Jones, Coates, O’Shea, Van Aanholt, M’Vila, Cattermole, Rodwell, Johnson, Defoe and Borini
Mignolet, Clyne, Lovren, Sakho, Moreno, Can, Henderson, Firmino, Coutinho, Lallana and Benteke
The 25 year old Frenchman has been one of the few bright spots from the Sunderland campaign as he looks to have turned his flailing career around with impressive consistent performances for a team that lacks world class players. He has brought the fight to the side and has been marshalled the Sunderland midfield, albeit any substantial support from his teammates. He has shown a great ability to break play with tackles and interception and will be keen to disrupt the rhythm of the Liverpool midfield from the word go.
While often being touted as a defensive minded player, M’Vila actually has good all round numbers to show for having created 24 chances (the highest for his team) and would turn out to be dangerous if Liverpool fail to contain him. He often drops deeper in search of space and time and should he be afforded that, it could mean trouble for the Reds.
Roberto Firmino is slowly coming alive in the Premier League. While many fans believe he has been pretty poor, we think he has put in a decent shift when deployed at the top or in the second striker role. He will be key to Liverpool’s fortunes in the game against Sunderland. His pace, trickery and movement make him a dangerous player and Firmino will be keen to bring his A game to the Stadium of Light.
The most impressive part of his game against Leicester for us were his ability to lose his marker while getting in the box, presenting his teammates an easy option to pass to. It’s a pity that the Liverpool frontline failed time and again to acknowledge his sharp movements and nothing substantial came out of the chances that could have been.
Sunderland are in wretched form and the going seems to be getting tougher for the Black Cats. Klopp will be keen to use the win against Leicester as a platform for better things to come and we believe he has easy pickings come Wednesday. We predict Liverpool to win the game 3-0.