Liverpool - Sunderland Preview: Suarez looking to continue fine scoring record against visitors
Jose Enrique and John O'Shea are expected to miss the Anfield clash after limping out of their respective weekend games, as the Reds look for a fifth win in seven league games
By Alex Young
Johnson, Agger, Sktel, Downing
Gerrard, Lucas, Allen
Suso, Suarez, Sterling
Gardner, Cuellar, Bramble, Kilgallon
McClean, Sessegnon, Colback, Johnson
Jose Enrique (hamstring) was withdrawn during Sunday's 3-0 win over QPR so is a doubt for the January 2 clash, with Stewart Downing likely to fill in at left-back. The Spaniard joins Martin Kelly (knee) on the treatment table, but Brad Jones (illness) could return.
Wes Brown (knee) is expected to miss the trip to Anfield, while John O'Shea (hamstring) failed to complete the full 90 minutes of the 2-1 loss to Tottenham on Saturday and is likely to miss the game along with long-term absentee Lee Cattermole (knee).
Titus Bramble replaced the former Manchester United defender against Spurs, and could continue to deputise against Liverpool.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Liverpool have lost just three times in 15 Premier League encounters against Sunderland, but have won just one of the last five clashes.
- Luis Suarez has scored in three of his four Premier League appearances against Sunderland.
- Steven Gerrard is one of only two midfielders (alongside Arsenal's Mikel Arteta) to play every minute of every Premier League game this season.
- Liverpool hit the woodwork on 26 occasions during 2012, more than any other team.
- Martin O'Neill has faced Liverpool 18 times in the Premier League, winning six, drawing seven and losing five.
- Sunderland are unbeaten in the Premier League this season in games in which Steven Fletcher (pictured right) has scored.
- The Black Cats have won just one of their last 15 Premier League away games.
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Top 3 Predictions
Liverpool 3-1 Sunderland
- 16.4 %
Liverpool 2-1 Sunderland
- 14.16 %
Liverpool 2-0 Sunderland
- 13.72 %
|Premier League (EPL)||26 Mar 2014||Liverpool 2 - Sunderland 1|
|Premier League (EPL)||29 Sep 2013||Sunderland 1 - Liverpool 3|
|Premier League (EPL)||2 Jan 2013||Liverpool 3 - Sunderland 0|
|Premier League (EPL)||15 Sep 2012||Sunderland 1 - Liverpool 1|
|Premier League (EPL)||10 Mar 2012||Sunderland 1 - Liverpool 0|
|20 Apr 2014||Norwich City 2 - Liverpool 3||EPL|
|13 Apr 2014||Liverpool 3 - Manchester City 2||EPL|
|6 Apr 2014||West Ham 1 - Liverpool 2||EPL|
|30 Mar 2014||Liverpool 4 - Tottenham 0||EPL|
|26 Mar 2014||Liverpool 2 - Sunderland 1||EPL|
|24||Carlos Javier Cuéllar||Defender|
The Brazilian is slowly being reintroduced to first-team football after overcoming his latest injury setback, but the busy festive schedule has seen Brendan Rodgers turn to him more often than not. He, midfield colleagues, were not at their best in his last start against Stoke City, and will look at the home game against Sunderland as a chance to impress.
The Benin international is yet to reach the heights of last season's performances, and with Steven Fletcher and, most recently, Adam Johnson, supplying the majority of Sunderland's goals this season, Sessegnon is due a goalscoring display to lift his faltering team.
After two wins on the trot, Sunderland were downed by Tottenham last time out, whereas Liverpool overcame a 3-1 defeat to Stoke to convincingly beat QPR. Despite the momentum appearing to be with the Reds, the Black Cats have lost just once to Liverpool in their past five clashes and will be fancying their chances.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed