Sunderland vs Liverpool – Team News, Lineups, Match Facts, Prediction And Performance Index

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After a week without Premier League football, Sunderland return to action against Brendan Rodgers’ Liverpool in this Saturday’s early kick off. The Black Cats will be looking to record their first win since their dramatic victory over Newcastle United in December.

Seb Larsson is yet again the player who dominates the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for Sunderland. The midfielder is the only player to have featured in every game for Sunderland this season, and as such has completed more passes in the opposition half than any other player in the squad. He has also covered more ground than any other Sunderland player 209.14km over the first 20 games. Larsson is 7/1 to score any time with 888sport.

It is Billy Jones, however, who has the best average distance per game. The fullback has recently seen himself recalled to the side, and has shown that he wants to earn his place in the team. In the five games he has played in this season, Jones has averaged 10.67km per game, according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.

Costel Pantillimon has secured his place in Sunderland’s side and with good reason.  Over his eleven games between the sticks, Pantillimon has the best saves per game ratio in the division of anyone who has played more than a game. According to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, Pantillimon has made 4.36 saves per game, a fair way ahead of Rob Green who is second with 3.74 saves per game.

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Liverpool come in to this game having drawn their last Premier League match 2-2 against Leicester City. Though if they avoid defeat against Sunderland, it will result in a five match unbeaten streak, and can be used as a springboard to push on in the second half of the season.

Steven Gerrard this week announced his intentions to leave Liverpool and will sign for MLS side LA Galaxy in the summer. Only Raheem Sterling has made more appearances for Liverpool in the Premier League this season. In the 19 games in which Gerrard has featured, he has attempted 51 crosses, a squad best. With the imminent return of Daniel Sturridge, it could be a matter of time before these deliveries start to be rewarded with goals. Gerrard is 8/1 to score first with 888sport.

Jordan Henderson was announced as Gerrard’s heir to the captaincy and the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows Henderson to be a worthy successor. The midfielder has been committed in his performances this season, covering more ground than any other player in the side (204.82km), as well as completed the most successful tackles in the side with 46.

At the back, Martin Skrtel has been a regular for Liverpool this season and has recorded the sixth most clearances of any player in the division so far this season. Skrtel has cleared his lines on 182 occasions this season in just 17 games, averaging out at around 10.71 clearances per game (fifth best in the division) according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.

Sunderland vs Liverpool Possible Lineups:

Sunderland: Pantilimon; Vergini, O’Shea, Brown, Van Aanholt; Bridcutt, Larsson, Gomez; Johnson, Wickham, Fletcher

Liverpool: Mignolet; Can, Skrtel, Sakho; Henderson, Lucas, Gerrard, Moreno; Coutinho, Sterling, Markovic

Match Facts: 

  • Sunderland have only won one of their last 10 league games (W1, D6, L3). Their only league victory at the Stadium of Light this season was against Stoke at the beginning of October.
  • The Black Cats have drawn 11 of their 20 league matches this season. They have won just three league games, the joint-lowest tally in the top flight.
  • Gus Poyet’s side have failed to score in nine of their 20 league matches this season. Only Aston Villa and Burnley have scored fewer than Sunderland’s 10 home goals.
  • Liverpool have lost just one of their last eight league matches, a 3-0 defeat at Manchester United in December (W4, D3, L1).
  • The Reds have conceded an average of 1.78 goals in their away matches this season (only Burnley and QPR have conceded more). Four times in this league campaign, Liverpool have conceded three goals away from home.
  • While Sunderland are the Premier League’s draw specialists, Liverpool are one of only two top-flight teams not to have drawn away from home this season.

Facts compiled from BBC.

Sunderland vs Liverpool Prediction:

1-2 win for the away side.

Data supplied by the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. Select and manage your own team of stars with at http://fantasy.premierleague.com/ or with FIFA Ultimate team.

 

Written by Dinesh V

Co-founder of Soccersouls. Living a start-up life 24/7
Follow @dineshintwit

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