Premier League preview: Sunderland vs. Liverpool

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  • Liverpool unbeaten in five vs. Sunderland
  • Reds conceded average of 1.78 goals per away game
  • Sunderland have PL-high 52 yellow cards this season

Sunderland host Liverpool at the Stadium of Light on Saturday (Watch live, 7:45 a.m ET on NBCSN and online via Live Extra) as the Black Cats are desperate to claim three points with just one win in their last 10.

Liverpool are unbeaten in four games, as Brendan Rodgers’ side have lost just once in their last eight matches but they were held to a 0-0 draw by Sunderland in December at Anfield.

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Following Steven Gerrard’s decision to walk away from Liverpool and sign with the LA Galaxy, the Reds are eager to send their legendary captain out on a high note by having a strong finish to the second half of the season in league and cup competitions.

In team news Sunderland could be without central midfielder Lee Cattermole and Jack Rodwell who are both struggling to be fit. Liverpool are without Adam Lallana, Joe Allen, Glen Johnson, Jon Flanagan and Brad Jones through injury while Kolo Toure is at the African Cup of Nations with the Ivory Coast.

What they’re saying

Sunderland winger Adam Johnson: “It will be a very tough game. They did really well last season and they haven’t quite found that form during the current campaign, but they still have quality players and a quality squad. We’re really looking forward to the game and they haven’t quite been at the top of their game, so hopefully we can catch them a little bit off and try to get a win.”

Brendan Rodgers on Liverpool’s approach: “They’re very difficult to break down. They get a lot of numbers behind the ball. They close the space up and you have to work really hard and well to try to find the gaps to get in. It will be slightly different at home. They will be the home team and they will want to go on the offensive a little bit more.

Predictions

The Black Cats have rattled plenty of the big boys this season with their rambunctious approach but given Liverpool’s recent upsurge and Sunderland’s inability to score goals (just 18 in 20 games) I can’t see anything but an away win. 3-1 to Liverpool.