Premier League: Liverpool v Sunderland match preview

A look ahead to tonight's Premier League fixture at Anfield

Although a much-needed win over QPR on Sunday will have boosted confidence at Liverpool, Brendan Rodgers' first season in charge of Liverpool is still proving to be a difficult task. The Reds, having not finished lower than eighth in the Premier League (1993/94 and 2011/12), current lie in tenth.

Sunderland, the former club of Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson, are also under-performing, having lost five of their last 10 games – as many as they have won over the season's 20 games so far.

Rodgers, who was not in charge against QPR on doctors' orders, should return to the dugout tonight. Also in attendance will be Daniel Sturridge who completed a £12m move from Chelsea today - however the England striker is not eligible to play.

 

KICK-OFF: Wednesday, 7:45pm

 

PAST THREE MEETINGS...

Sunderland 1 (Fletcher) Liverpool 1 (Suárez), Premier League, September 2012

Sunderland 1 (Bendtner) Liverpool 0, Premier League, March 2012

Liverpool 1 (Suárez) Sunderland 1 (Larsson), Premier League, August 2011

 

STATS...

Luis Suárez has 15 goals in all competitions this season, and 13 in the league. No player in the division has scored as many goals away from home as the Uruguayan.

Suárez has also scored in three of his last four games against Sunderland, but blasted a penalty over the bar at Anfield on the opening day of the 2011/12 season.

In the 18 times he has come against Liverpool in the league, as manager of Leicester, Aston Villa and Sunderland, Martin O'Neill has won six.

 

ODDS...

Liverpool to win: 1.51

Sunderland to win: 7.8

Draw: 4.4

 

CLASSIC MATCH...

In October 2009, Rafael Benítez's Liverpool were beaten 1-0 at the Stadium of Light in rather unfortunate circumstances.

Taking advantage of both Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres being absent from the Reds' line-up, an early shot from Sunderland striker from Darren Bent – via the deflection of a Liverpool-branded beach ball – was enough to seal the win.

Referee Mike Jones allowed the bizarre goal to stand, and the teenager responsible for throwing the item onto the pitch from the away end later commented: "It's bad enough when Liverpool lose, like in a normal way, but this was just one big disaster."

 

TV: Highlights on BBC1 at 11:05pm

 

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