Like A Black Cat: AA's Sunderland Preview

Stu Forster

The Reds finally return home in the rescheduled Sunderland fixture in a tie not too dissimilar to what we had going into Cardiff.

US: 3PM EST-NBC Sports
UK: 8PM GMT-Sky Sports

Coming off of what was a thrilling game for the neutral at the weekend, we finally return to Anfield after three games on our travels, looking to build on what has been an excellent run coming into the business end of the season.

Brendan has issued a rallying cry to the Kop urging us to get into Mecca early and be as loud as possible, and with our current run of form, we'll be happy to oblige to just about anything he says.

There's no new injury concerns, but Captain Fantastic has to be on high alert, with him being on nine yellows, because another would mean a two match ban. This would be disastrous at this point in the campaign, especially with Tottenham to play at the weekend.

SAS are back firing on all cylinders, with both of our star men on the scoresheet last time out. Luis with a hat-trick, taking his tally to 28 on the season, with an assist, and Daniel Sturridge also had a goal (assisted by LS7, that's his 11th) and an assist to Luis, taking his tally to 19 goals and 7 assists. One more goal for DStudge would make the SAS the first two Liverpool strikers with 20 or more goals each in a season since Ian St. John and Roger Hunt had 21 and 30 respectively back in the 1963-64 campaign, where we scored 92 goals as a team that season and won the First Division title in only our 2nd year in the top flight, having previously been stuck in the second tier.

Jordan Henderson was one of the star men in the 2nd half against Cardiff, and will welcome his boyhood team to Anfield, hoping to further prove why we've begun to rate him so highly.

For Sunderland, perhaps their biggest test is whether they can contend without loanee Fabio Borini, who's ineligible to play against his parent club. Despite this, Gus Poyet knows that his team needs galvanizing. Three losses, two wins and a draw sees them in the doldrums a little bit, but, like Cardiff, a result here could kick start their escape.

Some thoughts-

-Oof. This one's gonna be tough. We're asking questions of our defense again, but can they answer? (JAceKopite16)

-That being said, at this point in the season, it's all about collecting the points. However, goal difference could win or lose us a place in the table, and with Chelsea and City scoring a load last weekend, they caught up to us a bit. (JAceKopite16)

-I think Joe Allen sits here. He didn't look his best for large majorities of the Cardiff game, and, like Sunderland, we know we need to fire on all cylinders. Time for Phil to go back in midfield and Ras (Aka Bambi) to go back and join the other two. (JAceKopite16)

-In theory this should be a walk in the park, so expect a wild one. (loyal2reds)

-Dan has it, every context clue says Liverpool will steamroll the Cats...so we'll probably be on the edge of our seat for 90 minutes and change. (Matt)

-Everyone wants to talk about midfield composition, maybe a return for Sterling.  Well I'm going to go against the tide here and say I think it's time for Iago Aspas to start. (Matt)

-Jokes. Let's see SAS keep up their current form and I'd also like P-Funk to get his name on the score sheet. (Matt)


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