Liverpool will be aiming for back-to-back wins when they take on Sunderland at Anfield - something they have only achieved only once so far this season.
However, the Black Cats are a side which has hit form in the past month, despite their narrow loss to Tottenham on Boxing Day, having won three of their last five Premier League matches.
The Wearsiders will hope to overcome their rotten record against their opponents - having only beaten the Merseysiders three times in 23 attempts -and they have never beaten Liverpool at Anfield in the top flight.
Reds boss Brendan Rodgers is hopeful of being back in the dug-out after being struck down by illness at the weekend. Head of performance Glen Driscoll and back-up goalkeeper Brad Jones all missed Sunday's impressive 3-0 win at QPR.
England midfielder Jordan Henderson managed played an hour at Loftus Road despite being sick the previous night. Most of the team who were involved in the game were given a day off on New Year's Day in order to prevent further cross-infection.
Martin O'Neill has relied heavily on summer signing Steven Fletcher for goals and the Scotland international has bagged an impressive eight in 20 matches so far this season.
But the fact that the Black Cats are in talks with New York Red Bulls over a loan move for Tim Cahill suggests the Northern Irishman is looking for fresh firepower - despite his side scoring at least once in their past seven matches.
O'Neill will hope his side's defending continues the way they left off last year after keeping an impressive 15 clean sheets in the Premier League, only champions Manchester City (17) kept more.
Liverpool defender Jose Enrique will miss the visit of Sunderland with a hamstring injury.
Winger Stewart Downing, who has filled in at left-back previously, is expected be asked to provide cover again by manager Rodgers.
Midfielder Henderson and back-up goalkeeper Jones could be back in the frame after both were affected prior to Sunday's win over QPR with illness which has been sweeping through the camp.
Sunderland manager O'Neill will be without defender John O'Shea for the clash at Anfield.
The Republic of Ireland international damaged a hamstring during Saturday's 2-1 home defeat by Tottenham and is ruled out.
Full-back Danny Rose returns to the squad after being ineligible against his parent club, but skipper Lee Cattermole and central defender Wes Brown (both knee) remain on the sidelines.