Cleat Geeks

SUNDERLAND V LIVERPOOL PREVIEW

Sunderland host Liverpool in Saturday’s early kick-off with the Black Cats hoping to put an end to their three game winless run.

In contrast, Liverpool picked up eight points in twelve games over the festive period and made it through to the 4th round of the FA Cup.

Gus Poyet’s side have managed just one home win all season and have drawn 11 of their 20 Premier League games this season. Meanwhile the Merseysiders have won just four of their nine away games this campaign, conceding 16 goals in the process.

Goalkeeper Simon Mignolet paid the price for Liverpool’s goal leaking earlier this season, but injury to his replacement Brad Jones will see the Belgian start against his former club. Jordan Henderson is another former Sunderland player returning to Wearside.

Brendan Rodgers is without Adam Lallana (calf), Joe Allen and Jon Flanagan (both knee) and Glen Johnson (thigh), while Kolo Tore has left for African Nations Cup duty with Ivory Coast.

Liverpool will look to LA-bound captain Steven Gerrard for inspiration, who has scored all of his sides last four goals in all competitions.

Sunderland edged out Championship side Leeds in the FA Cup last Sunday, but their only home league win this season came against Stoke City in early October. However, Poyet’s side have only been beaten three times at the Stadium of Light – against Arsenal, Manchester City and Hull City.

Giant Romanian goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon has been impressive between the sticks, but last kept a home clean sheet in November.

Captain Lee Cattermole is struggling to overcome a groin injury and former Evertonian midfielder Jack Rodwell will have to pass a late fitness test if he is to feature.

On loan Uruguayan centre-back Sebastian Coates is ineligible to play against his parent club.

The two sides played out a goalless draw at Anfield in early December, a repeat of that result would give Liverpool their first away league draw of the season and it would be Sunderland’s seventh 0-0 draw of the season

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