Liverpool’s hopes of grabbing a European spot seem to be getting thinner with every passing match-day. Their latest loss to Leicester has put the club 11 points away from the fourth placed Arsenal and with just 14 games left this season, Klopp’s men will need to pull a bunny out of the hat to be involved in Champions League in the coming season.
The Reds host relegation threatened Sunderland on Matchday 25 of the Premier League in a crucial tie they cannot afford to lose. The Black Cats, who are 4 points away from safety will be keen to exploit Liverpool’s rather timid form and take a positive result away from Anfield.
There is good news emerging from Anfield as Coutinho, Sturridge, Origi and Skrtel are believed to be on the fast path to recovery and could feature in the coming week or two, while Danny Ings is showing rapid signs of improvement and could be back in the mix of things before the end of the season, despite being ruled out for the season. We believe that Klopp will field the same team that dominated Leicester in terms in possession but failed to create anything meaningful.
Expected Line Up
Mignolet, Clyne, Lovren, Sakho, Moreno, Can, Lucas, Milner, Henderson, Lallana, Firmino
Sunderland have a lot of injury concerns going into the game with Coates, Fletcher, Graham and Vergini ruled out of the game while Lens remains doubtful after pulling up a groin injury. While Lens will be replaced by Khazri in the starting line-up, we expect the rest of the players who stretched Manchester City in the mid week to continue to hold their place.
Mannone, Jones, O’Shea, Kone, Van Aanholt, Kirchhoff, Khazri, Cattermole, M’Vila, Borini, Defoe
Despite being withdrawn early from the Sunderland game, we expect Jordan Henderson to be in the starting line-up on Saturday. The Liverpool captain has helped his side dictate the tempo of the game whenever he has been on the pitch and we believe his ability to do so would serve this Liverpool side well against a side that will be happy to get away from Anfield with a point.
Deployed alongside Emre Can, James Milner and Lucas in midfield, the Liverpool captain will need to ensure there are no lapses which provide Sunderland opportunities. The side’s dodgy defensive record over the last few months is well documented and the side’s midfield which goes absent at times will need to be at the top of their game.
While Jermaine Defoe might be bagging the lime light for the goals, the contribution of M’Vila to the side cannot be undermined. The French midfielder has been one of the few positives for the Black Cats. He is a combative in the middle of the park, his work rate cannot be faulted and he can add to the side’s attack with his ability on and off the ball. In fact, he has been their best man on the pitch over a number of games.
With Liverpool’s midfield still looking way below a top notch, the game presents the right opportunity for M’Vila to showcase his worth to the footballing world.
- This will be the 160th meeting these two sides in all competitions, with Liverpool having won on 73 occasions compared to Sunderland’s 51 wins.
- The last Sunderland victory at Anfield came in the 1983-84 season when they beat the Reds 1-0.
- Jermaine Defoe leads the scoring charts for the Black Cats with 9 goals having converted 29% of the chances that have come his way while Christian Benteke (Chance Conversion 17.60%) leads the scoring charts for Liverpool with 6 goals.