Liverpool v Sunderland – Saturday 13th August – Anfield (16:00)
The much anticipated start of the English Premier League has finally come and some exciting fixtures are lined up for this weekend. Liverpool will kick-off their campaign against Sunderland at Anfield in the pick of the weekend’s matches. The Reds will be looking to break back into the top four this season while the Black Cats will be hoping to build on last season’s 10th place finish after being the most active team in the transfer market.
A lot is expected from Liverpool this season after their impressive record last season when Kenny Dalglish took over Management from Roy Hodgson. King Kenny accumulated more points than any other Premier League team besides Chelsea in the second half of the season to rescue Liverpool from a relegation fight to a 6th place finish. Another reason why Liverpool are one of the contenders for this seasons title is the new signings they have made in Charlie Adam from Blackpool, Jordan Henderson from Sunderland and Stewart Downing from Aston Villa, which accumulates to about £50 million. Jordan Henderson, who has been touted as the future replacement for Liverpool’s Captain Steven Gerrard, will put sentiment aside when he faces his ex-club and will want to prove his worth here to avoid getting stick from the Sunderland fans. Dalglish faces a tough task to select his midfield against Sunderland. With Steven Gerrard out injured, Dalglish will still face a dilemma of who to start between nine midfielders that all believe they deserve to start in the first Premier League match in Adam, Henderson, Downing, Spearing, Kuyt, Lucas, Aquilani, Rodriguez and Meireles. Liverpool’s new hero Luis Suarez is doubtful to start after only rejoining the team recently since his Copa America triumph with Uruguay.
The Black Cats wrapped up their pre-season schedule with a 0-0 draw against Scottish Premier League side Hibernian, and will want to give a better performance in this big match. Sunderland have been the busiest team in the transfer market so far having signed eight players. Blackpool’s player’s player of the season David Vaughn and Manchester United’s experienced duo John O’Shea and Wes Brown being the most notable signings. However Manager Steve Bruce has stated that his new players aren’t likely to start as he believes it is important that they are given time to settle at the club first. Sunderland will expect a big season from Asamoah Gyan after doing well in his debut season for the club. His a man for the big occasion and will be looking to get on the score sheet at all costs.
Liverpool are coming off a good 2-0 win against Valencia at home. They give very little away at Anfield and should press for goal throughout the match. Back the home win.