Venue: Stadium of Lights
Match Referee: M. Atkinson
Gaining just a point in the opening three games of the new season has certainly increased the pressure on Liverpool’s new boss, Brendon Rodgers and has pulled his side to post a compulsory victory at stadium of lights. At the same time, after two consecutive draws, one against Arsenal at home and the other to Swansea at away, Martin O’Neill’s Sunderland will be looking for their first win of the season at home.
Despite of coming up with influential performances in the opening games, Liverpool strikers have been continuously struggling to find the nets. The failure to find the replacement for the departed expensive striker, Andy Carroll seems to be the major mistake committed by Rodgers.
The actions taken to bring Joe Allen and Nuri Sahin to Anfield and Adam Johnson and Steven Fletcher to Stadium of lights have been the brilliant pieces of business done in the transfer window by the managers of Liverpool and Sunderland respectively. Allen’s pass accuracy with the Merseyside is found to be more than 90% and this might took him on to win the Standard Chattered player of the month for August, whereas Fletcher had scored 2 goals in his debut game for Sunderland against Swansea, 2 weeks ago.
As Wes Brown is sidelined with knee injury and Phil Bradley is encountering ankle problem, this defensive pair will net be the part of the fixture thus by leaving the space for Cuellar and Gardner to carry on their duty at back.
The new arrivals, Adam Johnson and Luis Saha are expected to keep their places in the starting line-up to be operated as left winger and centre striker respectively. There is no doubt in Fletcher’s place in the starting XI as the former Wolves striker had netted twice in the 2-2 draw against Swansea.
Despite of showing some poor performances in the previous games, Pepe Reina is set to keep his place in goal, whereas, former Aston Villa winger, Stewart Downing will probably be getting his chance to play in the right wing in the place of inefficient Fabio Borini to join the attack with Sterling, who will be playing in the left wing and Luis Striker, the centre striker.
Gerrard, Sahin and Allen will be forming the part of the visitor’s midfield as Lucas Leiva remains as a long-term absentee. If Enrique fails to prove his fitness for the game, then Sebastian Coates or Stewart Downing will be given the role to play in left back as the later proved to be effective in the position in the europa league playoffs against Hearts.
As both the teams will be fighting to find their first victory of the season, we can watch out for plenty of excitements there, at stadium of lights.
Mignolet, Gardner, O’Shea, Cuellar, Rose, Larsson, Sessegnon, Cattermole, A. Johnson, Saha, Fletcher
Manager: Martin O’Neill
Reina. G. Johnson. Skrtel, Agger, Enrique, Allen. Sahin, Gerrard, Downing, Sterling, Suarez
Manager: Brendon Rodgers