Sunderland v Liverpool preview: Divock Origi expected to miss out
Last Updated: 30/12/15 10:57pm
Divock Origi could miss out but Jordon Ibe is set to return to the Liverpool ranks for Wednesday's clash at Sunderland, live on Sky Sports 1 HD.
Jurgen Klopp's side head to Wearside looking to build on a 1-0 Boxing Day win over leaders Leicester that lifted them to within five points of the top four ahead of the final round of fixtures in 2015, a gap that now stands eight points.
Sunderland languish seven points from safety after slipping to a fourth straight defeat and an emphatic one at that, Manchester City running out 4-1 winners at the Etihad.
While Sam Allardyce's side will stay in 19th whatever the result at the Stadium of Light, Liverpool could jump to seventh, level on points with Manchester United, if they win.
Belgium forward Origi is likely to sit out after limping off with during the first half of the Reds' win over Leicester, with the results of a scan not yet in.
Ibe was absent from Saturday's clash due to illness but has now resumed training at Melwood.
James Milner is due to return to training after a calf complaint but Klopp will give him a week's rehabilitation before restoring him to the fold.
Sunderland's main injury concern is John O'Shea, who limped through the final stages of the City rout with a calf injury.
Allardyce told his pre-match press conference he would not risk the key defender unduly so could turn to Wes Brown to partner Sebastian Coates, with promising youngster Tom Beadling also in the frame.
Sunderland have picked up just two points in their last six Premier League meetings with Liverpool (W0 D2 L4).
Liverpool have conceded only 10 goals in their last 22 league meetings with Sunderland.
James Milner has scored five Premier League goals against Sunderland; more than against any other opponent in the competition.
Allardyce targets centre-back
Sam Allardyce will look overseas for a new centre-half when the transfer window opens.
Christian Benteke has netted five goals in six Premier League appearances against Sunderland; more than against any other side - this includes one of the Belgian's two hat-tricks in the competition (April 2013).
Sunderland have conceded just two goals in their four Premier League home games under Sam Allardyce, but both of these goals have contributed to 0-1 defeats.
Liverpool have lost their last two Premier League away games without scoring - they haven't lost three consecutive away games in the competition since April 2012 (four in a row).
This is a very important game for both sides. It depends on what Liverpool turn up - if we get the side that beat Leicester, then Sunderland have their work cut out to get anything.
They are a bag of Revels at the moment, though. I'm going to back Sunderland to get something but I would not be surprised if Liverpool won.
PAUL PREDICTS: 1-1 (11/2 with Sky Bet)
Liverpool are Sky Bet's 7/10 favourites ahead of their trip to the Stadium of Light with Sunderland priced at 19/5 and the draw 14/5. The Reds are 6/4 for a top four finish after their Boxing Day victory over Leicester, while Sunderland are odds-on to be relegated.
Benteke notched the winner against the Foxes and the striker is Price Boosted from 7/4 to 2/1 to score in a Liverpool win, while a repeat of last year's 1-0 win for the visitors is priced at 11/2. Soccer Saturday pundits Matt Le Tissier and Phil Thompson are both backing Liverpool to win with Charlie Nicholas tipping a 1-1 draw. Get all the Sky Bet odds and Price Boosts here.