Premier League preview: Sunderland vs. Liverpool

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  • Liverpool has won last 3 trips to Sunderland
  • Sunderland has conceded 11 goals in last 5 matches
  • Liverpool on club-record point total after 19 games

2nd and 18th meet with very different goals as Liverpool travels to the Stadium of Light to take on Sunderland (Watch live at 10:00 a.m. ET live on NBCSN or live online via NBCSports.com).

For Sunderland, it’s been feast or famine the last two months, and mostly famine. They have four wins since the start of November, but the rest have all been losses. Nevertheless, with Crystal Palace falling to Arsenal on Sunday, the chance is there to not only beat a top team but also pull themselves out of the relegation zone.

[ MORE: JPW’s PL picks for Matchweek 20 ]

From the other end of the table, things have been gravy for Liverpool of late. Four wins in a row has Liverpool rolling, on a club-record point total at this point in any Premier League season with 43. Adam Lallana already has more assists than he ever has in a season, and Ragnar Klavan has quietly turned the Reds’ leaky defense into a team strength. If this is how they look without Philippe Coutinho, they could be truly dominant when he returns.

All that would come crashing down, however, should they stumble against a bottom club. They still have a six-point gap to make up behind a historic Chelsea season, and they must not drop points if they hope to stay within reach.

What they’re saying

Sunderland manager David Moyes on transfer window: “We’ll see what we can do. It’s difficult. It will even be difficult to attract the players. We need to say, ‘We need you’.”

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp on the match importance: “No excuses for no-one – that’s how everyone wants it. We have to deliver – and we will deliver. It was very important we won against City. It would be really hard to go to Sunderland if you got nothing so we will go there and play our best.”

Prediction

The top teams have had no problem with lower-level sides this season, and this match should be no different. If it’s anything like Tottenham’s trip to play Watford, it will get out of hand in a hurry. 3-0 or 4-0 is reasonable for this one.