Sunday, September 29, 2013

Match Preview: Sunderland vs Liverpool

Managerless Sunderland play host to Liverpool at the Stadium of Light, live on Super Sunday, still seeking their first Premier League win of the season.

Kevin Ball takes charge of his first Premier League game as Sunderland caretaker boss following the sacking of Paolo Di Canio last Sunday.

Di Canio was axed last week 24 hours after the 3-0 defeat to West Brom left the Wearside club rooted to the bottom of the table.

Sunderland have just one point from their first five league outings and Ball will be hoping to boost his chances of landing the manager's job on a permanent basis with a positive result against Liverpool.

Liverpool travel to Wearside aiming to get back to winning ways after two straight defeats to Southampton in the Premier League and Manchester United in the Capital One Cup.

The gloss to Liverpool's impressive start to the season has been taken off in the last few weeks and Brendan Rodgers will be keen to see them get back to winning ways at the Stadium of Light as they strive to keep pace with the leading pack.

Sunderland will be without star striker Steven Fletcher after he injured his shoulder in last weekend's defeat to West Brom.

It means Jozy Altidore is expected to lead the attack and he could be supported by Emanuele Giaccherini, who scored in the midweek Capital One Cup win over Peterborough.

Defensive duo Wes Brown (calf) and Phil Bardsley (foot) remain sidelined as they work their way back to fitness.

Fabio Borini is ineligible to play against his parent club after joining Sunderland from Liverpool on transfer deadline day.

Lee Cattermole made his first start of the season against Peterborough and he could keep his place in midfield.

Luis Suarez is set to start his first Premier League game after coming through his return from suspension against Manchester United unscathed.

The Uruguay international played the full 90 minutes in midweek after serving his 10-match ban for his bite on Branislav Ivanovic and he is expected to keep his place in Rodgers' starting XI.

Rodgers is waiting on the fitness of vice-captain Daniel Agger after he missed the defeat at Old Trafford with a knock.

Full-back duo Glen Johnson and Aly Cissokho remain on the sidelines through injury meaning Rodgers has a decision to make whether to stick to his 3-5-2 formation he played against Manchester United.

Brazilian playmaker Philippe Coutinho is out after undergoing shoulder surgery last week, while two former Sunderland stars Simon Mignolet and Jordan Henderson are set to face their old club.

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