Sunderland to have a (beach) ball of a time against the Reds
Saturday's Premier League action comes to a head in the North East, as Liverpool travel to Sunderland, looking to register their first three points of the season.
After Sunderland's first home game of the season with Reading was postponed, they return to the Stadium of Light after two away draws, including a backs-to-the-wall 0-0 at Arsenal, and impressive 2-2 in Swansea, which saw new striker Steven Fletcher grab a brace. For Liverpool, a winless start to their campaign has, however ludicrous it is, seen boss Brendan Rodgers come under fire from sections of the fan base and media. With absolutely no history of castigating new managers (try telling that to Roy Hodgson), Liverpool are in need of a win in this late Saturday game.
The Black Cats made some big moves in the recently closed transfer window, and apart from the aforementioned Scottish striker Fletcher, Adam Johnson joins the team, in what is considered a relative coup. Alongside new striker Louis Saha, who signed after being released by Spurs, Sunderland possess a revamped attacking threat. For the Weirsiders, the next month has a collection of winnable games including a trip to Upton Park, and the visit of Wigan Athletic. With this in mind, they will be looking to start a run of form, and what better way to do so than with a win against the unimpressive Liverpool? If you think that new boy Steven Fletcher can continue from where he left off against Swansea by scoring in a Sunderland win, we are offering 6/1 here.
For Liverpool, a poor start to the season was exacerbated by a home loss to Arsenal before the international break. Lacklustre defending and a tepid attack led to a 2-0 loss. Liverpool's transfer business was scrutinised heavily by the media, but with a late deal for Nuri Shain should be seen as a statement of attacking intent. However, after the poor showing at Anfield against Arsenal, Brendan Rodgers may be forced to rethink his strategy. However, the more pressing issue for the Merseyside club at the moment may well be their defence. Without a clean sheet in six, and with only two in seventeen, Jose Reina's recent performances have caused worry amongst some fans. However against Sunderland, Liverpool have a chance to get their season on track, and if you think that Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez will score in a Reds win at odds of 3/1, then click here.
Of course, Sunderland's form coming into the season hasn't been too great. Without a win in ten, something will have to give at the Stadium of Light on Saturday evening, as Rodgers' side have only registered four wins in their last eighteen. Find our full range of markets on the game here, or if you would like to view all Premier League odds, click here.
Coverage of this match begins at 1630 on ESPN, with kick off at 1730.