Liverpool welcome Sunderland to Anfield looking for back-to-back Premier League victories for only the second time this season, following their 3-0 away win against Queens Park Rangers on Sunday.

Brendan Rodgers was absent from Loftus Road at the weekend after being struck down with a virus, meaning assistant Colin Pascoe took charge of first-team affairs. However, the Northern Irishman is hopeful of being back in the dugout for tonight's game.

Jose Enrique is likely to be the only high-profile absentee, after the Spaniard suffered a hamstring injury against QPR, meaning Stewart Downing is likely to fill in at left-back for Liverpool.

Meanwhile, midfielder Jordan Henderson and back-up goalkeeper Brad Jones should both make the squad after recovering from similar illness that has swept through the Liverpool dressing-room.

The Black Cats arrive on Merseyside off the back of three wins from their last five games, and manager Martin O'Neill will be hoping that Steven Fletcher will be firing on all cylinders as he looks to add to his tally of eight goals in 20 games so far this season.

Liverpool predicted starting XI:

Reina; Johnson, Skrtel, Agger, Downing; Allen, Lucas; Gerrard, Shelvey, Sterling; Suarez.

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