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MATCH PREVIEW: Liverpool V Sunderland

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Liverpool welcome Sunderland to Anfield on Saturday afternoon in what could turn out to be a heated affair thanks to a saga off the pitch this week. Fan organisations such as Spirit of Shankly are unhappy with the proposed new ticket prices released this week and a "Walk out on 77" protest has been put forward. It is unclear how many fans will make their feelings known with their feet but it is clear that less emphasis will be placed on the football itself for this clash.

                                   Image via www.mirror.co.uk: Jürgen Klopp
Injuries
Daniel Sturridge has once again returned to training, fans hold their breath as they await a string of ten sessions minimum from the forward. There is also no Martin Skrtel or Divock Origi for manager Jürgen Klopp while Coutinho appears closer to fitness but may not be prepared for this weekend.
For Sunderland, they are without Larsson and Matthews who are both out long term. Doubts also hang over the fitness of Kaboul and Vila…

Benteke Strikes Again

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Liverpool picked up all three points at the Stadium of Light on Wednesday evening after Christian Benteke found the back of the net less than a minute into the second half. It wasn't a straight forward performance from the Reds but Klopp's side did enough to get the better of the Black Cats who managed three shots on target.

It was a very mixed game for Liverpool who began in a lively fashion and almost got themselves on the scoresheet when Roberto Firmino had to watch a cracking effort hit the post early on. It was a stunning save from Vito Mannone and proved Sunderland were up for a fight.

Benteke was rather quiet in the first half, suffering in my opinion from a lack of supply. For me, the only person really searching to come to the forward's assistance is Jordan Henderson and he had to leave the pitch during the second half. I don't have an injury update on the captain but I hope it's not too serious!

It was Jermain Defoe and ex Red Fabio Borini who went close…

MATCH PREVIEW: Sunderland V Liverpool

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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 Palac…

Markovic Scores In Sunderland Win

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Liverpool successfully ground out a 1-0 win over ten man Sunderland on Saturday after a Lazar Markovic goal in the first half sealed the deal for the Reds. It wasn't a perfect performance from Brendan's side by any stretch of the imagination but there were certainly positives to take from the game including the clean sheet and influential performance from Markovic.

The Reds began the game in a very bright fashion with an early through ball from Philippe Coutinho reaching Markovic, the Serbian was then taken down by Wes Brown but the referee deemed the incident not to be worthy of a penalty.

Luckily for Liverpool their next brush in with a refereeing decision worked very much in their favour. With just eight minutes gone in the game another quick break from Markovic down the right wing allowed him to pass the ball to Steven Gerrard. The captain then opted to pass to Borini who was quite clearly fouled as he attempted to get the ball back to Markovic, thankfully though the refe…

MATCH PREVIEW: Sunderland V Liverpool

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Liverpool travel to the Stadium of Light on Saturday as Brendan Rodgers aims to steer his side to a win over Sunderland. The January transfer window has swung open but for the time being it looks as though the Reds will have to wait to bring new faces to Anfield.

Injuries for Liverpool mean they are without several players due to long term injury and recently Adam Lallana was added to the list with a calf problem. The Reds are also unable to call upon Toure who has now gone out to the Africa Cup of Nations, good luck Kolo!!

For Sunderland they are unable to call upon Coates who is ineligible to play against us. They also have doubts hanging over Lee Cattermole and Jack Rodwell.

Sunderland are currently 14th in the league with 20 points. Sunderland lost their last game against Manchester City but put up a good fight scoring two goals with City netting three. In their last six games in the league they have only won once; an emphatic 1-0 win over Newcastle.

Liverpool find themselves 8th…

No Goals In Sunderland Draw

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Liverpool kept only their fourth clean sheet of the season in a dismal attacking display against Sunderland on Saturday. The Reds managed just two shots on target whilst the black cats only managed only one. It was hardly a "must see" game for the neutral and whilst the Reds may perhaps feel happy they didn't lose another game, the fact is we should be doing much better against teams like Sunderland.

I didn't get chance to watch the game yesterday because I was at work and so this is just a match round up, no real opinions as I've only seen highlights and there weren't many highlights to mull over haha.

The first moment of note for Liverpool in the game came when Martin Skrtel played a risky tackle in the box. Sunderland perhaps had reason to question the call from the referee but Neil Swarbrick called no peno.

Coutinho from what I saw along with Sterling were the only real players of note for the Reds. A chance from Coutinho in the first half saw him shoot …

Reds Hope To Continue Winning Streak

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Liverpool welcome Sunderland to Anfield on Saturday as they look to continue their winning streak. Having seen off Stoke and beaten Leicester 3-1, the Reds for once are feeling quite optimistic. With news this week that work will start on the Anfield redevelopment from Monday too things are looking rosy for the Reds.

However Brendan Rodgers knows all too well than to get ahead of himself and it's an important week for Liverpool who have Basel to face in the week also.

Injuries for Liverpool mean they are still without Mario Balotelli (don't even bother bringing up today's news from the FA because that's a whole other blog post, follow me on Twitter for my opinions on that). Positively for Liverpool Philippe Coutinho is back and it's thought Jose Enrique may also feature as he slowly regains match fitness.

For Sunderland they have a big doubt hanging over striker Steven Fletcher whilst Sebastian Coates is ineligible to play against us.

The last time the two sides m…

Nervy Finish But Reds Grind Out 3 Points

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It was a nervy ride to say the least on Wednesday evening as kopites everywhere tried to stay calm whilst Liverpool ground out a 2-1 win over Sunderland. After a heroes reception before kick off with the fans welcoming the team bus outside Anfield, the game generated the atmosphere of a European night and with the tension that rose throughout the 90 minutes it certainly did feel like it.

The game started slower than expected for Liverpool who were creating chances but perhaps struggling a bit with the five across the back fielded by Gus Poyet. Some poor crosses and passes from Glen Johnson too also led to early frustration, it just wasn't his day at all on Wednesday night!

Eventually though the pressure applied by the Reds came good when a last ditch challenge from Vergini saw Suarez taken down. In my opinion Vergini was very lucky to remain on the pitch, it was a bad challenge and I also felt he was last man with Suarez otherwise clear on goal. I definitely feel there was a case…

Reds Back At Anfield For Sunderland Tie

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Liverpool are back on the hallowed turf of Anfield on Wednesday evening as they prepare to face Sunderland. After a thoroughly exciting if somewhat worrying tie with Cardiff at the weekend, the Reds will be looking for a smoother win this time out.

Good news for Liverpool as Brendan Rodgers has no new injuries to contend with. In the Cardiff game he opted to start Coutinho instead of Sterling and it will be interesting to see which of the two he chooses to start in this clash.

For Sunderland they cannot field Fabio Borini as he is ineligible being one of our players on loan. They are also missing Alonso who is serving a suspension and out with an ankle injury is Steven Fletcher.

Sunderland are currently 18th in the table and they are in the midst of a bad run of form too, losing three out of their last four games. Liverpool on the other hand still find themselves in 2nd chasing Chelsea whilst hoping Manchester City will slip up at some point too.

The last time the two sides met was i…

SAS Seal Three Points At Sunderland

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Yes, it was the magic of Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez (and a bit of an arm) that safely saw Liverpool collect all three points on Sunday as managerless Sunderland could only create one goal via Italian Giaccherini.

Temporary boss Kevin Ball had made no changes to the Sunderland side from their league cup outing and it was the black cats that had the more positive start initially. As often happens when a team are looking to shake off their old manager and prove themselves to any new contenders, Sunderland were very confident to begin with and maintained a lot of possession.

Giaccherini as always was causing the defence some problems and without Steven Fletcher, Sunderland were perhaps missing that final product however, they did sustain pressure for a good 15 minutes or so. After failing to find the back of the net though Sunderland slowly allowed Liverpool back into the game.

Rodgers had gone for a similar set up in comparison to the Manchester United game. We had three at the ba…

Reds Need To Get Back On Track

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Liverpool travel to Sunderland on Sunday with their tails slightly between their legs. An undeserved loss against United in the league cup has knocked their confidence but the poor performance against Southampton is what has most fans worrying. Luckily for the Reds Suarez is well and truly back and he will no doubt boost the side's overall display.

There are no new injury worries for Liverpool and Daniel Agger looks as though he may be able to start if Rodgers decides to field him. For Sunderland I have conflicting information, some websites are saying Fletcher is their only player out whereas physio room says also out are ex red man Dossena, Bardsley and Brown. It also says they have doubts hanging over the fitness of Celustka and John O'Shea. Make of that what you will but Steven Fletcher is probably the biggest loss there anyway.

Along with their injury woes, Sunderland also find themselves stone dead last in the Premier League table with just one point collected under man…

Suarez, Sterling & Gerrard Steal The Sunderland Show

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Liverpool put in a superb performance at Anfield on Wednesday night as they topped off the festive season with a 3-0 win over Sunderland. Brendan was back on the sidelines after his illness whilst the likes of Suarez and Co were making the opposition feel sick as they took hold of the game.

In a game where Liverpool produced 27 shots and 16 on target, the pace and pressure was high immediately. It was a refreshing change to the sometimes unproductive passing regime that has taken hold of the Reds lately.

The first goal of the game came just before 20 minutes and it fell to our starlet Raheem Sterling to get Liverpool off the mark. Strength from Steven Gerrard firstly allowed him to get the ball to Suarez who then also showed his armour and with real awareness put a ball over to Raheem. Sterling knew exactly what he planned to do with this chance and he cheekily lobbed keeper Mignolet leaving Sunderland stunned.

It was a cracking goal and just proves the potential there is in Raheem S…

Black Cats At Anfield

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Liverpool welcome Sunderland to Anfield tomorrow and hopefully Brendan Rodgers will be well enough to oversee this one as the Reds look to take another 3 points in the league. It was a confident win for Liverpool against QPR but Sunderland perhaps pose a stronger threat.

Injuries for Liverpool mean they are without the influential Jose Enrique who pulled his hamstring against QPR there is also the problem looming around camp of the illness that the manager has had, some of the players like Brad Jones picked up the virus too and it is hoped the rest of the side have escaped catching the illness.

Sunderland have no new injury worries except the absence of John O'Shea who like Enrique pulled his hamstring in the Black Cats tie with Spurs at the weekend.

Liverpool are currently placed 9th in the league whilst Sunderland are in 13th, 6 points behind the Reds.

The last time the two sides met was in September 2012, the game ended in a 1-1 draw with Luis Suarez and Steven Fletcher findin…

Suarez Goal Enough To Seal A Point

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It was a struggle to say the least on Saturday for Liverpool but eventually the Reds managed to find themselves a goal and in turn a point at the Stadium Of Light. A first half goal from Steven Fletcher set the tone as Liverpool looked to correct their sloppy start, Suarez's goal thankfully saved Liverpool some dignity.

As I mentioned in the match preview, Sunderland isn't exactly an easy away trip for any side but it was pretty poor from Liverpool on Saturday.

Brendan Rodgers opted to start Raheem Sterling again to the delight of many. Suarez and Borini were the main attacking options and Jonjo Shelvey got another start in the midfield.

It wasn't exactly an emphatic start from Liverpool but despite that the lads were managing to create some chances. Borini and Shelvey had efforts early on buy Mignolet and accuracy prevented them from putting Liverpool ahead.

Whilst Sunderland were struggling to create any clear cut chances and the Liverpool defence were dealing with any …

Reds Need Win At Sunderland

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After the international break and what was a momentous occasion on Wednesday with the release of the Hillsborough documents Liverpool are back into the swing of things on Saturday as they travel to the North East to face Sunderland.

Brendan Rodgers was present at the vigil on Wednesday and for Saturday's clash he has some thinking to do over team selections. Enrique still has a doubt hanging over him but will be assessed before the match and Lucas is obviously still unavailable with his long term injury. Joe Allen who was ill and missed international duty is fighting fit again now though.

For Sunderland they only have one real problem and that is with Adam Johnson who is doubtful to start after suffering a thigh injury.

The last two meetings between the two sides have been unfavourable for Liverpool who have suffered a defeat and had to accept a 1-1 draw at the beginning of last season.

Since Martin O'Neill took over Sunderland have become a somewhat more stable team but in f…

Liverpool Lose 3rd League Game In A Row

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Liverpool fell to a 1-0 defeat at the Stadium Of Light on Saturday when a fortuitous goal separated the two sides. The third in a string of defeats breaks a record for the Reds who haven't lost three in a row in the league since 2003. It was a dire game for the neutral to watch and unfortunately contained a very poor performance from a lacklustre Liverpool side who are hitting a bit of bad form in the league at the moment.

Some changes to the side were made by Dalglish who introduced Coates and Bellamy. Suarez was once again the lone man up front and captain Steven Gerrard was able only to start from the bench.

The first half was uneventful to say the least, neither side caused major problems in the box and there was no real flow to the game. The Liverpool midfield appeared to be unsettled and with Charlie Adam having one of his poorer games, we were struggling to create any real passing from the centre of midfield and out to the wings or cut through to the likes of Suarez.

Charl…

Reds Face O'Neill's Sunderland

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Liverpool travel to the Stadium Of Light on Saturday to face a renewed Sunderland side. Martin O'Neill's side are almost unrecognisable compared to the side Steve Bruce was managing earlier in the season and Liverpool will surely be looking for a victory in a game which they drew at the start of the season.

That's right folks, the fixtures are at the reverse stage. It's annoying that instead of watching it in 30 degrees heat in an Irish bar in Majorca that I'll have to watch it in my living room this time out though!

Liverpool are without Daniel Agger for this clash but Steven Gerrard and Glen Johnson are expected to be back in the line up. For Sunderland they are without Cattermole and Sessegnon who are both serving bans and Richardson is also a doubt for the black cats.

Sunderland's last game saw them pick up a point in the Tyne & Wear derby. Before that though, they fell to a shocking defeat when Roy Hodgson's West Bromwich Albion beat them 4-0.

Liv…

Suarez Nets In Sunderland Score Draw

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First of all folks may i say how nice it is to be back blogging! If you didn't know i was in Majorca for 10 days hence the missing Valencia post, whilst i was out there i luckily managed to watch the Liverpool match in an Irish bar, it was bloody sweltering heat and i had to squint all the way through the match but I'm glad i got to watch it all instead of relying on highlights for a quick round up.

For the Reds first game of the season Dalglish shook things up a bit, in the starting eleven brand new signing Jose Enrique was given his chance, Dirk Kuyt had been dropped for Jordan Henderson. Downing started with Lucas and Adam in midfield. Reina in goal with Flanagan, Carragher and Agger in front of him and the strike force consisted of Carroll and Suarez.

It didn't take long at all for Liverpool to put a spark into the game. Referee Phil Dowd had his first major decision early on in the match after Suarez was brought down by Richardson in the box. I'm not Phil Dowd…

The Liver Bird Is Going Abroad!

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Ok, well, the blog isn't going abroad but I am. I've never been abroad before and I'm stupendously excited but the downside is for the first time EVER I will unfortunately have to miss a post or two.

Today's post is basically to give you a run down of what's happening and also have a quick chat about the two games affected whilst I'm away.

As you have probably noticed, I haven't been doing match previews for the friendlies this season, just reports so thankfully that's one less thing to worry about.

We face Valencia at Anfield on Saturday in the final friendly. In Dalglish's last chance to play around with the line ups I'm pretty certain he'll give the Anfield crowd the opportunity to see all of our new signings and some of the youngsters.

The way our friendlies have been going of late I think one thing I'd have a punt on is plenty of goals.

The Valencia match report I'm afraid is one thing that won't appear on the blog. I know …

Jordan Henderson: Welcome To Anfield

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Pick yer boots...
Liverpool completed the signing of Jordan Henderson yesterday after a week or so of him being top of the rumours list it appeared to be a battle of wits settling on a price. Eventually the brains of the club managed to agree a fee with Sunderland and the young prospect is now a Liverpool player after passing a medical.

Believed to be in the region of £16million plus Ngog i feel that was some good business from Comolli. Perhaps a bit more than i would have liked to see us pay but especially when concerning English players, this is the way the window is at the moment.

I wish David Ngog the best of luck and think he could thrive at a club like Sunderland, along with their problems up front lately he could be just what they're looking for. He scored the first Liverpool goal i ever saw live so I'll certainly never forget him! Haha.

Captain Steven Gerrard seems happy with the latest signing describing the ex Sunderland man as "... a good player with energy.&quo…