Sunderland vs Liverpool, 15:00 Saturday October 17th
Of the Sunderland outfield players that started in the 2-2 at Old Trafford, Bardsley, Turner, Ferdinand, Malbranque, Richardson, Cattermole and Bent were not on international duty, while Reid, Cana, Jones may have been, but Reid wasn’t a starter for Ireland.
A lot of money has been spent at Sunderland, but mainly on good Premiership players, rather than internationals. They will hit a glass ceiling with the lack of truly outstanding players, but they will dig in well over the league campaign, and be a tough side to beat. To make matters worse, Rafa doesn’t have the best record against Steve Bruce, although the 7-0 FA Cup win against Birmingham will be one the ex-United captain won’t forget in a hurry.