Kenny Dalglish's men have an impressive defensive record against the Mackems and will hope to atone for a disappointing draw at Anfield earlier this season
Bardsley, O'Shea, Turner, Richardson Larsson, Colback, Gardner, McClean Campbell, Bendtner
Kelly, Skrtel, Carragher, Enrique
Henderson, Adam, Spearing, Bellamy
Martin O'Neill will be forced to reshuffle the side which was held to a 1-1 draw against bitter rivals Newcastle, after Lee Cattermole and Stephane Sessegnon were handed four and three match bans respectively for their dismissals in the Tyne-Wear derby.
Wes Brown remains out with a knee injury sustained in the game against Norwich, but David Vaughan returns to the squad alongside goalkeeper Craig Gordon, who is available for the first time in over a year after battling a long-term knee injury.
Titus Bramble also returns to the squad after suffering with a calf strain of late, but he is unlikely to return straight into the starting eleven.
Liverpool faces a couple of late fitness tests ahead of their trip north to Sunderland, with Steven Gerrard battling to return to the side after missing last week's game against Arsenal with a hamstring injury picked up on international duty with England.
Glen Johnson is the other member of the first team squad struggling with injury, after picking up a hamstring strain in the Carling Cup final win over Cardiff.
Daniel Agger remains the only other person on the injury table for the away side, with the Dane likely to be sidelined for the remainder of March with cracked ribs.
||DID YOU KNOW?|
- Sunderland has posted victory over Liverpool just once in its last 11 attempts, with that win coming courtesy of the now infamous beach ball goal from Darren Bent in this fixture back in October 2009.
- That controversial strike is the only goal which Sunderland have managed in Liverpool's last five visits to the Stadium of Light.
- Sunderland has conceded a higher proportion of headed goals than any other Premier League side this season.
- Liverpool was held on the opening day of the season by Sunderland, as Sebastian Larsson's superb volley earned then-Mackems manager Steve Bruce a deserved 1-1 draw.
- The penalty miss from Dirk Kuyt (pictured right) against Arsenal last weekend marked the eighth Liverpool have missed from the spot this season in all competitions.
- Liverpool has the worst conversion rate of any Premier League side this campaign, turning just 8.6% of its shots into goals.
- Sunderland has won 19 points from its 13 home fixtures this season, whilst Liverpool has won 19 points from their 13 away fixtures.
- The Reds have picked up just five points from their last six games. In the same run of fixtures, Sunderland have notched 10 points.