Life’s a beach for Ball and Sunderland – Betting Preview
Sunderland (9/2) play their first league game since dispensing of the services of Paulo Di Canio as they take on Liverpool (8/11, draw 13/5) at the Stadium of Light.
The Italian has paid the price for a terrible start to the campaign which has seen them gain just one point from five games, and including last season they only picked up two victories from 12 during his entire time in the north east.
Kevin Ball has been put in temporary charge of the Black Cats, but Gus Poyet is strongly fancied to be appointed the next permanent manager.
The change in manager is sure to improve morale in what is a squad lacking in confidence.
Whoever is in the hotseat will have to start picking up points quickly though as Man Utd, Newcastle and Man City are all coming up on the fixture list.
This game might actually be a great chance for the hosts to pick up three points as Liverpool have just started to stutter a bit recently after their 100% start to the season.
The Reds have lost their last two by 1-0 scorelines (1-0 Sunderland 16/1) and drew 2-2 with Swansea before that, of course a certain Uruguayan was only involved in their most recent game and performed well without scoring after 10 games out.
Luis Suarez (9/2 FGS) is who we base our offer around - we're giving you 2/1 he notches in an away victory; for Sunderland you can get a whopping 10/1 on Jozy Altidore (9/1) netting in a Mackem win.
The odds on Altidore are high for a reason; he's only managed three goals in 36 appearances during two spells in this country, however unlike when he arrived at Hull four years ago he is at least on the back of a prolific spell in the Netherlands with AZ Alkmaar.
The US international is a talented player, and without Steven Fletcher for around six weeks, the Mackem supporters will really need him to deliver on this promise.
It won't be easy for Sunderland in this one as the Reds are looking very solid at the back, of course they know all too well the talents of Simon Mignolet, who has saved more shots than any other keeper this season, as the Belgian used to stand between the sticks at the Stadium of Light with some distinction for three seasons.
The visitors are however missing Daniel Agger, Glen Johnson and Aly Cissokho from their backline.
Philippe Coutinho is also still unavailable, but in a strange way his absence has come at a good time as it means they're more likely to play two up top as Daniel Sturridge (9/2) surely can't be dropped when he's in such fine form.
The England man is the focus for our Opta offer - he has scored seven of Liverpool's last nine league games and we've got him at Evens to notch in this one.
The prospect of Suarez and Sturridge must excite Pool fans; you can back them both to score at 3/1, or either player to score first at 11/8 in our special scorer doubled/coupled markets.
The Uruguayan has scored five goals in five games against Sunderland, whereas Sturridge is on fire and also scored against the north east outfit when he last faced them so the prices are certainly with good reason.
I don't expect Liverpool to run away with this one, but 2-0 at 8/1 is worth a shout, meaning under 2.5 at 10/11 is decent value.
Liverpool to win to nil at 13/8 would be the bet that I'd be most tempted to part my money with though.