Liverpool have the ideal opportunity to get their season back on track after some recent hiccups when they travel to manager-less Sunderland in the EPL on Sunday.
The Reds - still without a league title since 1990 and having not finished better than sixth in the past four seasons - made their best start to a season in years when they won their first three fixtures this season 1-0.
That included a win over Manchester United - boosting hopes that at last the Reds were again ready to match it with England's best teams.
But Brendan Rodgers' second season in charge has hit a bump in the road with a disappointing 2-2 draw at Swansea followed by a shock 1-0 home loss to Southampton in the EPL and a 1-0 defeat at Old Trafford against Man U in the League Cup in midweek.
The Black Cats are last on the table with just one point from five games and, following their 3-0 loss away to West Brom last Sunday, sacked manager Paolo Di Canio after just six months in charge.
Caretaker manager Kevin Ball led the club to a much-needed 2-0 win over lower division Peterborough in the Capital One Cup in midweek but that game is hardly a pointer to the Black Cats' chances against Liverpool on Sunday.
With the Reds' superstar striker Luiz Suarez making his return in midweek in the League Cup following his ten-match ban for biting, Liverpool should have sufficient firepower to win this game comfortably.
Suarez and his in-form team-mate Daniel Sturridge are the $5 equal favourites to score the game's opening goal on Sunday at bet365 but we would prefer to back both to score at any stage at $2.20.
Stoke are in tenth spot - seven places and three points better off than Norwich after five matches - and held title favourites Manchester City to a 0-0 draw in their last home outing.
That is good form for a match against struggling Norwich, who have gone down 1-0 at the Britannia Stadium in each of the past two seasons, with bet365 offering odds of $6 on that scoreline being repeated again on Sunday.
*Note prices subject to change