Sunderland vs Liverpool team news: Fabio Borini starts against former club but no Raheem Sterling for Reds as Black Cats change four

Borini spent part of last season on loan with Sunderland but replaces Rickie Lambert for today's clash

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The Independent Football

Brendan Rodgers has made two changes to the side that knocked AFC Wimbledon out of the FA Cup last Monday night as he desperately seeks success with his strikers in the Premier League trip to Sunderland.

Rickie Lambert produced another blank for the Reds and pays the price for his below-par performance, with Italian striker Fabio Borini preferred to spearhead their attack. The only other change sees Javier Manquillo replaced at left-wing-back by Alberto Moreno, with Emre Can, Martin Skrtel and Mamadou Sakho continuing in a three-man defence.

Steven Gerrard retains his place further up the pitch behind Borini, with Raheem Sterling unavailable as he is on an extended rest period as Rodgers has allowed him to fly to Jamaica for a short break to help prevent burnout. 17-year-old midfielder Jordan Rossiter joins Mario Balotelli and Dejan Lovren on the substitutes’ bench.

 

Sunderland manager Gus Poyet makes four changes to the side that beat Leeds in the FA Cup third round as he recalls some of his key players to the starting line-up.

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Raheem Sterling is on an extended rest period

Wes Brown returns to partner John O’Shea at centre-back at the expense of Sebastian Coates, who is unavailable as he cannot play against his parent club. In midfield, Sebastian Larsson and Adam Johnson return in place of Jack Rodwell and Ricky Alvarez, while Conor Wickham leads the line of attack in place of Steven Fletcher, who has a groin injury, while out-of-form striker Jozy Altidore is ruled out through illness.

Line-ups:

Sunderland: Pantilimon, Vergini, van Aanholt, O’Shea, Brown, Bridcutt, Larsson, Gomez, Johnson, Giaccherini, Wickham.

Subs: Jones, Graham, Alvarez, Buckley, Mandron, Agnew, Mannone.

Liverpool: Mignolet, Can, Skrtel, Sakho, Henderson, Moreno, Lucas, Gerrard, Markovic, Coutinho, Borini.

Subs: Ward, Enrique, Lovren, Manquillo, Balotelli, Rossiter, Lambert.

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