Sunderland will be hoping to put their knack of home draws behind them and getting a big scalp against a Liverpool side that really need to win if they are to fulfil their ambitions of qualifying for the Champions League.
To be played on Saturday 10th January 2015 at 12:45. Venue: Stadium of Light, Sunderland
Odds: Sunderland 7/2, Draw 13/5, Liverpool 19/20
Sunderland are a difficult side to face this season as has been shown by Chelsea visiting the Stadium of Light and only leaving with a draw, while Manchester City fell behind before they came back and secured victory this season.
Though the home side haven't lost many games this season, they haven't won enough for the manager's liking, and looking at the league table, though one would feel they should stay up, they can definitely be considered a side in a relegation battle.
Liverpool have a big challenge having won two of their three games over the festive period, but they really should have made it three after throwing away a two-goal lead to bottom of the table side Leicester City.
The dropped points against the Foxes was a missed opportunity as it could have allowed the Reds to close on many of their rivals, but instead find themselves seven points off the pace of the Champions League places. Though with third playing fourth this weekend in the Premier League when Manchester United take on Southampton at Old Trafford - there is an opportunity for the visitors to get back into contention.
In terms of notable injury news, Lee Cattermole will reportedly undergo a late fitness test, but Jack Rodwell is ruled out. Liverpool are expected to welcome back Dejan Lovren to the squad following a groin injury. Kolo Toure is away with the Ivory Coast for the Africa Cup of Nations.
“The idea is to have a good run not just in the cup but in the Barclays Premier League, and win games to give us the confidence and the calmness that everybody needs because it would be nice to move away from the bottom three so we can relax and play the football we want.”
“They have good players and they have shown over the course of the season so far with a lot of draws that they are hard to break down, but that's our job to go there and look to put in a performance that gets the three points.”
Jack Rodwell ★★★ out hamstring
Vito Mannone ★ probable illness
Ricardo Álvarez ★ probable illness
Lee Cattermole ★★ questionable groin
Anthony Réveillere ★★ questionable calf
Joe Allen ★★★ out knee
Glen Johnson ★★★ out groin
Bradley Jones ★★★ out thigh
Jon Flanagan ★★★ out knee
Daniel Sturridge ★★★ out thigh
Adam Lallana ★★★ out thigh
Dejan Lovren ★ probable groin