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 aim to pull clear of the relegation zone as a resurgent Liverpool side roll into town.
The Reds are still reeling a little from Steven Gerrard’s decision to walk away from Anfield at the end of the current campaign to join the LA Galaxy in Major League Soccer. Raheem Sterling will be missing for Liverpool as he continues his break in Jamaica. Brendan Rodgers’ side have lost just once in their last 10 matches but did drew 0-0 at home to Sunderland back in December.
In team news Sunderland make four changes to the team who beat Leeds in the FA Cup as Wes Brown, Sebastian Larsson, Adam Johnson and Connor Wickham start. Liverpool make two changes from the team which beat AFC Wimbledon in the cup as Alberto Moreno and Fabio Borini replace Javier Manquillo and Rickie Lambert.
Sunderland: Pantilimon, Vergini, van Aanholt, O’Shea, Brown, Bridcutt, Larsson, Gomez, Johnson, Giaccherini, Wickham. Subs: Jones, Graham, Alvarez, Buckley, Mandron, Agnew, Mannone.
Liverpool: Mignolet, Can, Skrtel, Sakho, Moreno, Henderson, Lucas, Markovic, Gerrard, Borini, Coutinho. Subs: Ward, Enrique, Lovren, Lambert, Manquillo, Balotelli, Rossiter