By Gary Fulcher, Daniel Rhodes and Mihail Vladimirov.
The Reds’ unbeaten start to the season – and 12 match undefeated league run – came to an end against Southampton at Anfield last Saturday and was followed up by a 0-1 defeat to Manchester Utd in the Capital One Cup 3rd round on Wednesday evening.
Two poor results aside, the Reds sit in 5th place – two points behind the leaders Arsenal – and have been boosted by the return of Luis Suarez, who made his first competitive appearance in a Liverpool shirt following the completion of his ten match ban.
Our objective hasn’t changed despite two consecutive defeats, as disappointing as they both were. Five games in and we’re in the mix for the Champions League places, which surely has to be our overriding objective for this campaign. It’s also worth remembering that at this stage last season we were in 18th, having picked up two draws and three defeats from our opening five league games.
Paulo Di Canio’s short but volatile reign as manager of Sunderland came to an end following the 0-3 defeat at West Bromwich Albion last weekend, which left the Black Cats rock bottom with just one point from their opening five matches and a goal difference of minus eight. They returned to winning ways in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday night, knocking out Peterborough Utd 2-0 at the Stadium of Light under caretaker manager Kevin Ball.
The corresponding fixture last season ended in a 1-1 draw with Luis Suarez equalising Steven Fletcher’s opener, but despite that stalemate the Reds have won seven of the last 12 league visits to the Stadium of Light/Roker Park, with three defeats and two draws rounding up the figures.
Our heaviest defeat against the Black Cats is 0-7 which was recorded during the 1912/13 campaign, while our biggest victory on our travels is 4-1, achieved on three different occasions.
Liverpool’s overall league record against Sunderland:
- Total – P: 152 W: 67 D: 34 L: 51 F: 254 A: 216 GD: +38
- Home – P: 76 W: 38 D: 20 L: 18 F: 140 A: 92 GD: +48
- Away – P: 76 W: 29 D: 14 L: 33 F: 114 A: 124 GD: -10
The match-day officials for this fixture are:
- Referee: Howard Webb
- Assistants: M Mullarkey, D Cann
- Fourth Official: L Mason
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