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’sSunderlandwill be looking for their first win of the season at home.
Despite coming up with influential performances in the opening games, Liverpool strikers have been continuously struggling to find the net. The failure to find replacement for the departed expensive striker, Andy Carroll seems to be the major mistake committed by Rodgers / FSG.
Signings Joe Allen and Nuri Sahin to Anfield and Adam Johnson and Steven Fletcher to Stadium of light have been brilliant pieces of business done in the transfer window by the managers of Liverpool and Sunderland respectively. Allen’s pass accuracy with the Merseyside club is fantastic, more than 90% and that earned him Standard Chattered player of the month award for August, whereas Fletcher 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 not 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 againstSwansea.
Despite 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 excitement and expectations.
Mignolet, Gardner, O’Shea, Cuellar, Rose, Larsson, Sessegnon, Cattermole, A. Johnson, Saha, Fletcher
Reina. G. Johnson. Skrtel, Agger, Enrique, Allen. Sahin, Gerrard, Downing,Sterling, Suarez