MATCH PREVIEW: Sunderland V Liverpool

Image via nesn.com
Liverpool travel to the Stadium of Light on Wednesday evening as they aim to collect another win following victory over Leicester on Boxing Day. Jurgen Klopp has apparently had a "man conversation" with Christian Benteke so we can only assume that this will result in the big Belgian featuring up front for this one.

Other team news for the Reds sees Jordon Ibe available after recovering from a short illness. Still out are James Milner and Martin Skrtel while Divock Origi remains a doubt. Daniel Sturridge feels ready to feature but the manager has clearly stated he will not be rushing the striker back to the starting XI.

For Sunderland, Younes Kaboul is unavailable due to a hamstring injury and there is a doubt hanging over John O'Shea. Overall Sam Allardyce has a relatively strong squad to choose from.

Sunderland are currently sitting 19th in the league having lost their last four fixtures. They have won just three games this season, victory over Newcastle, Crystal Palace and most recently Stoke. Liverpool on the other hand are in 10th on 27 points. Form of late hasn't been perfect but the win over Leicester will have boosted spirits after a dire loss to Watford.

The last time the two sides met was in January this year, a single goal from Lazar Markovic after just eight minutes was all that kept the two sides apart. An earlier fixture in December 2014 ended in a drab 0-0 draw. The last time the Black Cats picked up a win against the Reds was back in March 2012, Nicklas Bendtner scored the only goal in that game.

Stat Sandwich

  • The Reds have lost their last two games away from home, failing to score in the process.
  • Sunderland have conceded 37 goals in 18 games so far this season.
  • In the last 22 meetings in the league with the Black Cats, Liverpool have only conceded 10 goals.
If Liverpool don't collect all three points on Wednesday then something is drastically wrong. Sunderland have been poor so far this season and despite picking up some good results against the likes of Stoke and Crystal Palace, Jurgen Klopp's side should really be beating a team like Sunderland. The issue however is that Sunderland under Big Sam play exactly the kind of football that Klopp hates; long ball. So far, he's also failed to deal effectively with teams holding an ethos similar to that of Sunderland so it should be interesting to see what happens. I'm hoping that the introduction of Benteke will go some lengths to helping resolve the situation.

Betting

Liverpool are outright favourites to win the match tomorrow and you can get odds of 8/11 with Bet Fred.

If you fancy Christian Benteke to find the back of the net on Wednesday, both Coral and William Hill are offering 9/2 for him to be the first goalscorer. If you think Sunderland may get off the mark first you can grab Steven Fletcher as first goalscorer at 10/1 with Paddy Power.

Do you think it's about time the Reds got a big win? If so, a winning margin of three goals is down as 8/1 with Ladbrokes.

Enjoy the match folks, wherever you are watching!

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