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Preview: Sunderland Looking To Bounce Back Against Liverpool

It will be all about a positive response when Sunderland travel to Anfield in search of points on Saturday.

Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Sunderland team news

Adam Johnson (knock) and Wes Brown (rested) are expected to return for Sunderland at Anfield with the latter replacing on-loan Sebastian Coates who is ineligible against his parent club.

The game has still come too early for Billy Jones and Emanuele Giaccherini, but Gus Poyet has admitted he is considering freshening up his midfield three with Liam Bridcutt and Jordi Gomez options.

Liverpool team news

Brendan Rodgers may make changes with the Reds' Champions League decider to follow in the week. That makes it tough to predict their line-up, so we might not bother as we'd just be wasting everyone's time.

You'd fancy Fabio Borini to play - and score - though, wouldn't you!

Predicted (Sunderland) line-up

Sunderland - Football tactics and formations

Key match-up: Seb Larsson v Jordan Henderson

For all intents and purposes, Larsson was Henderson's replacement at Sunderland. Both players are very firmly established as central midfield workhorses now, and with two sides laregly struggling for goals it may be perspiration rather than inspiration that ultimately decides this one.

Liverpool recent form: LLLDWW

Real Madrid 1-0 Liverpool

Liverpool 1-2 Chelsea (Can)

Crystal Palace 3-1 Liverpool (Lambert)

Ludogorets 2-2 Liverpool (Lambert, Henderson)

Liverpool 1-0 Stoke City (Johnson)

Leicester City 1-3 Liverpool (Lallana, Gerrard, Henderson)

Last time around: Liverpool 2-1 Sunderland (26/3/2014)

Sunderland proved no match for a rampant Liverpool though did ultimately make a fight of it. Steven Gerrard and Daniel Sturridge scored for the Reds with Ki Sung-Yueng replying. At that time, Liverpool looked firmly set for the title while Sunderland seemed condemned to relegation. Neither came to pass.

The ref: Neil Swarbrick

The Lancastrian official wasn't particularly popular with Black Cats fans last time he officiated Sunderland despite it being in a 3-1 win over Stoke. He also was the man who gave WBA their ludicrous penalty on the opening day for the dive by Victor Anichebe. May be he owes Sunderland one? Doubt it.

What the managers said

Gus Poyet

The idea is to keep believing in what we do. We are going to have to refresh the team ahead of the Liverpool game because there are a few heavy legs.

Saturday is going to be interesting; I'm looking forward to the game.

Brendan Rodgers

We will have to be patient against Sunderland as they have had a lot of draws and defend resolutely.

It's a really exciting period for us with Sunderland, Basel, Manchester United away, the League Cup game the week after and then Arsenal. I need to choose the team that is going to be fit and fresh for every game.

Roker Report predicts

Any reason why Sunderland can't win this one? Not really. Plenty of reason's why the may not, though. We tend to be optimists, and we are may be due a little luck, so why not go with a scrappy 2-1 away win.

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