Liverpool predicted line-up vs. Sunderland

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Liverpool will look to continue their good momentum with a third straight Premier League victory against Sunderland on Saturday afternoon, on the back of an improved display in the 3-1 win over Leicester City in midweek.

Brendan Rodgers' side sit eighth in the table ahead of their clash with the Black Cats, who are languishing in 14th after their 4-1 midweek thrashing at home by Manchester City.

With a must-win clash against FC Basel fast approaching on a Tuesday night, it's likely that the Reds' boss will have one eye on the Champions League clash and will likely rest several key players if he wants to reach the knock-out stages of the competition.

Expect Rodgers to make changes

Goalkeeper - Simon Mignolet

The Belgian can't catch a break lately.

He's been on the end on several high-error mistakes this term, most recently in the 3-1 victory against Leicester City when he almost gifted Esteban Cambiasso with an open goal, only for the Argentine to scuff his shot wide.

Mignolet is under severe pressure in the Liverpool net, especially with the January transfer window approaching. However, he is the best shot-stopper the Merseyside club have and Rodgers has backed him previously after making mistakes.

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Right-back - Javier Manquillo

The youngster was dragged off at half-time against the Foxes after putting in a less than satisfactory shift.

With Basel coming up, it's likely that Rodgers will want to start Glen Johnson for the clash and therefore give the nod to Manquillo for the Sunderland game.

The Spaniard had nothing but an off-day at the King Power, which even the top players have from time to time, and he should be back being defensively sound and offering his services going forward.

Centre-back - Kolo Toure

Toure has been drafted in of late replacing Dejan Lovren and done a mighty fine job in the Liverpool defence.

His experience what the Reds have been crying out for and just his presence in the back-four brings solidarity, despite the odd scary moment.

The Ivorian has been there and done that, winning trophies at Arsenal and Manchester City in the past. His positioning is what is most impressive and made several superb interceptions against Leicester on Tuesday and has the ability to lead the defence.

Centre-back - Martin Skrtel

Skrtel has been Rodgers' number one defender for the past two seasons and was an inspiration last campaign.

However, this season is quite different and the Slovakian is badly out-of-touch. He looks tentative when the opposition drive at the back-four, not knowing whether to commit to the challenge or lay-off and often has ended up in no-mans land.

But, his form has improved since players alongside Toure and you can tell Skrtel likes to have a leader alongside him.

Left-back - Alberto Moreno

The £12 million summer signing has struggled to break into the Liverpool line-up of late.

For a player who was desperately chased by Rodgers all summer, the Northern Irishman has preferred playing Glen Johnson or Jose Enrique at left-back.

He was brought on for the second-half through the week and didn't have a bad game, rarely putting a foot out of place.

However, there was no attacking presence which you usually expect with him and stuck to his defensive duties.

One feels he should be bright back into the starting XI after a short break on the side-lines and get back to his best form, giving his full support when Liverpool are going forward.

Defensive-midfield - Emre Can

Another who has been left out recently is Can. It's come as a massive surprise given how well he performed against both Real Madrid and Chelsea, two of Europe's elite side's, bossing the midfield and showing his true potential.

With Lucas being in such good form of late, it's likely the Brazilian will be rested in preparation of the game against the Swiss champions.

Can is more than a suitable replacement and has every desirable quality a manger looks for in a midfielder - power, strength, awareness and can score goals. The German has settled well at Anfield and he should boss the midfield against the Wearside outfit, protecting the Liverpool defence and getting forward.

Centre-midfield - Joe Allen

The Welshman has been used in second-string games fairly frequently this season and will likely line-up from the first whistle on Saturday.

He is always busy in the midfield and is neat and tidy.

Allen makes a nuisance of himself throughout games with his high energy level and should mop up well against Sunderland.

Centre-midfield - Jordan Henderson

With skipper Steven Gerrard likely to be rested, Henderson will step into his shoes.

The Liverpool vice-captain has started to creep into form of late, scoring goals against Ludogorets Razgrad and Leicester.

His qualities have very much improved over the last 12 months, especially his passing and has displayed some excellent through balls this term. 

Henderson never stops running from start to finish and always gives 100%. It's likely he'll be given permission to play further forwards against his former club with Gerrard's absence and should step into the role with no problem.

Left-wing - Adam Lallana

The England international has been Liverpool's most consistent player this season.

You know what you get from Lallana every time he plays; skill, passion, hard work and the ability to unlock back-fours.

His performance against Leicester was solid, especially in the first-half and took his goal sublimely and should be a massive threat towards the Sunderland defence.

Right-wing - Philippe Coutinho

Raheem Sterling has been Liverpool's key player this term, but, Rodgers will likely want him fresh for Basel on Tuesday.

Coutinho is not a bad replacement at all and will be an asset to the Liverpool team.

When on song, he is untouchable when the ball at his feet. The Brazilian has the ability to glide past defenders with ease and hit inch-perfect passes that create chances for his side.

Striker - Rickie Lambert

Lambert is full of confidence at the minute. He's scored two goals and they have done him the world of good.

His performance against the Foxes was impressive, causing himself a nuisance for the Leicester defence that lead to Lallana's goal and Wes Morgan's sending off when the 32-year-old's superb work-rate was rewarded.

Lambert has an excellent first-touch and is intelligent with the pass he plays either off his head or on the deck.

The ex-Southampton man too offers the Reds an alternative style of play if things aren't going to plan, due to his aerial threat.

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