Britain Soccer Premier League

Watch Live: Liverpool vs. Sunderland (Lineups and Discussion)

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Two teams looking to cash in on their games in hand face off today at Anfield, but whereas Liverpool needs full points to keep pace with Manchester City and league-leading Chelsea, Sunderland hopes the three fewer games it’s played than the rest of the relegation field can lead the Black Cats to safety. Their battle kicks off at 4:00 p.m. ET, with broadcast on NBCSN and available via NBC Sports Live Extra.

After yesterday’s result in Manchester, Liverpool temporarily finds itself in third place, with City passing the Reds after its victory in the Manchester Derby. Brendan Rodgers’ team, currently riding a six-game winning streak, can overtake the Citizens and reduce Chelsea lead to one with a win over Sunderland. In the process, Liverpool can continue its pursue of the league goal scoring record, with its 80 goals setting a pace that will eclipse the 103 Chelsea scored under Carlo Ancelotti.


Coming off a loss at Norwich, Sunderland has been forced to shake up a team that’s winless in league since Feb. 1. Marcos Alonso is suspended, while Fabio Borini can’t play against his parent club. Ki Sung-Yueng and Adam Johnson have been relegated to the bench, while Conor Wickham, just recalled from loan, goes starting into Gus Poyet’s starting XI.

Currently in 18th place, Sunderland has three games in hand to secure Premier League survival. Between current form and fixtures like this one, however, another year in the first division again looks in doubt. Needing to reclaim their January form, Black Cats are at the mercy of Luis Suárez and Daniel Sturridge today at Anfield..


Liverpool: Mignolet; Flanagan, Skrtel, Agger, Johnson; Gerrard, Allen, Henderson; Coutinho; Suárez, Sturridge

Subs: Jones, Sterling, Aspas, Sakho, Lucas, Cissokho, Moses

Sunderland: Mannone; Bardlsey, O’Shea, Brown, Dossena; Wickham, Vergini, Cattermile, Bridcutt, Giaccherini; Altidore

Subs: Ki, Larsson, Johnson, Colback, Roberge, Scocco, Ustari

VIDEO: Marco Verratti plays a brilliant pass to Eder for Italy goal

PALERMO, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 06:  Marco Verratti of Italy in action during the UEFA EURO 2016 Qualifier match between Italy and Bulgaria on September 6, 2015 in Palermo, Italy.  (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)
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Italy took a 1-0 lead over Azerbaijan through the in-form Eder in the 11th minute, but the true leg-work (see what I did there) came from bite-sized midfielder Marco Verratti.

The PSG playmaker pinged a beautiful long ball over the top of the Azerbaijan defense that fell right at the feet of Eder, who let the ball settle itself and touched home confidently past Kamran Arhayev for a 1-0 lead.

The goal is the second of Eder’s national career in just five caps, having scored on debut against Bulgaria back in March. He has six goals in seven matches for Sampdoria so far this Serie A season.

Italy needs three points in this match to ensure qualification to Euro 2016. A win would guarantee them a place in the field, while anything less would mean there is work to do in the final match on Tuesday against Norway.


Later in the match, Stephan El Shaarawy gave Italy a 2-1 lead just before halftime, his second career international goal and his first since September of 2012 which came in his third career start.

Agent: Liverpool contacted Klopp only after Rodgers firing

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 09:  Jurgen Klopp arrives to be unveiled as the new manager of Liverpool FC at a press conference at Anfield on October 9, 2015 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
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As soon as Brendan Rodgers was dismissed by Liverpool on Sunday, Jurgen Klopp’s name was tossed around as the likely successor to the then-vacant Liverpool managerial position.

However, according to Klopp’s representatve Marc Kosicke, Liverpool did not make contact with the German until after Rodgers had been officially let go.

“The first call from Liverpool came after the dismissal as coach of Rodgers,” Kosicke told Bild. “Before Liverpool there were naturally quite a few inquiries. But Jurgen always asked me not to take it any further.”

Club management was less committal than Klopp’s rep, but did say they had their eye on the German for some time. “We have learned to keep certain matters confidential. We had a meeting recently with Jurgen that he has talked about and I don’t want to talk too much about these conversations. But we have thought about him for a long time and everyone who knows football knows he is an outstanding manager.”

It’s relatively hard to believe Liverpool would have canned Rodgers without knowing for sure that a top-level target such as Klopp or Carlo Ancelotti were on board to replace him. It also would mean discussions of the contract terms and logistics would have moved at lightning speed, with just four days between the Rodgers dismissal and Klopp’s official unveiling.