Liverpool and Sunderland will both be keen to register their first win of the new league season when they meet at the Stadium of Light in the evening kick-off.
Where to Watch Live
Kick-off is set for 5:30pm BST and ESPN will be carrying live coverage.
The Reds must shift their focus to on-field matters following an emotional week that saw the publication of the Hillsborough panel's report into the 1989 disaster. This is shaping up to be a difficult period for the Merseyside club, particularly with the looming threat of legal action against parties shown to be responsible for a massive cover-up of the tragedy, in which 96 people died and 766 were injured at an FA Cup tie between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest.
Sunderland have been impressive so far, managing two creditable away draws - a stalemate at Arsenal and a 2-2 against the high-flying Swansea City, while their home match against Reading was postponed due to heavy rain. Meanwhile, Liverpool have taken just one point from three games under new boss Brendan Rodgers. They started with a 0-3 loss at West Bromwich Albion, then held champions Manchester City 2-2 at Anfield before conceding a 0-2 defeat to the Gunners at home.
This fixture has not ended in a draw since 2001, so if history is any indication, one team will soon end the wait for that first league win.
Sunderland: Defenders Wes Brown and Phil Bardsley remain sidelined for the Black Cats, leaving midfield man Craig Gardner to take on a defensive role again. Martin O'Neill has no other injury concerns, though former Manchester City winger Adam Johnson will have a late test. Centre back Carlos Cuellar will partner John O'Shea at the back, while wing-back Danny Rose - on loan from Tottenham Hotspur - is likely feature on the left, with Gardner on the right.
Lee Cattermole and Sebastian Larsson will feature in the middle of the park for the Black Cats, while James McClean will be on the left wing. Johnson will feature on the opposite flank, with either David Meyler or Jack Colback set to come into the starting line-up if the England international fails to prove his fitness. On the attacking front, O'Neill is likely to start with Stephane Sessegnon and new signing Steven Fletcher, who netted a brace on his debut against Swansea. Louis Saha should also feature at some point in the game.
Liverpool: Midfielders Lucas Leiva and Joe Cole are the only confirmed absentees for Rodgers, although wing-back Jose Enrique's knee problem will be assessed ahead of the game to see if the Spaniard can start. Glen Johnson, Martin Skrtel and Daniel Agger will make up the rest of the back four and Martin Kelly will come into the starting line-up if Enrique does not make it. Pepe Reina is set to keep his place in goal despite a shaky performance against Arsenal in the last game.
In midfield, Joe Allen will feature as the makeshift anchorman, a role the youngster has been performing well. Captain Steven Gerrard has not been at his best so far this season but will surely start alongside the Welshman. New signing Nuri Sahin will complete Rodgers' three-man midfield but many would like to see Jonjo Shelvey, who has been impressive every time he comes on, getting a start in the near future. Up front, Luis Suarez and teenage sensation Raheem Sterling are automatic first-choice picks, while new forward Fabio Borini, who has been unspectacular till now, should see off competition from Stewart Downing for the last spot.
Probable Starting Line-ups:
Sunderland (4-4-2): Mignolet; Gardner, Cuellar, O'Shea, Rose; Johnson, Cattermole, Larsson, McClean; Sessegnon, Fletcher
Liverpool (4-3-3): Reina; Johnson, Skrtel, Agger, Enrique; Allen, Sahin, Gerrard; Borini, Suarez, Sterling
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