Liverpool Vs Sunderland, Sat 25 Sep 2010

Published Add your comment

Football News

Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson will most likely drop all the players who performed so badly in midweek for the Barclays Premier League game at home to Sunderland.

Hodgson made 11 changes from the side which lost at Manchester United last weekend but his understrength team embarrassingly lost to League Two Northampton in the Carling Cup.

It seems unlikely any of those players will be retained as the likes of Steven Gerrard, Fernando Torres, Joe Cole and Jose Reina return.

Forward Dirk Kuyt may make a comeback after a quicker-than-expected recovery from a shoulder injury earlier this month but defender Fabio Aurelio (Achilles) is still injured.

Hodgson admits a victory may allow him to sleep easier but will not provide an instant fix to what has been a difficult start to the season.

However, he has dismissed critics who say his squad does not have enough quality to finish in the top four, insisting regaining their Champions League status remains well within their capabilities.

Their next two league matches against the Black Cats and Blackpool the following weekend represent an opportunity to get things back on track - especially as they are currently only three points off fourth place.

But Hodgson knows it is what the team can do over the entire campaign which will decide whether they are successful or not.

"It will take more time than a win," said the Reds boss in response to suggestions the Sunderland game could turn things around completely.

"It will certainly make my life a bit happier and I shall sleep a bit better on Saturday night if we get a win - but we might not.

"Nothing I can say changes the result on Wednesday or repair any damage done by the poor performance.

"What will change everything is a good performance on Saturday, a good (Europa League) performance in Utrecht on Thursday and a good performance against Blackpool the following Sunday.

"Maybe then there will be a totally different atmosphere and attitude."

Titus Bramble is set to start at Liverpool as Sunderland boss Steve Bruce attempts to find a solution to a major defensive headache.

The 29-year-old is included in the squad despite being questioned by police over an allegation of rape in midweek.

His presence will be a major plus for Bruce, who has seen both Kieran Richardson and Anton Ferdinand join John Mensah (calf) on the sidelines with hamstring problems sustained during Tuesday's Carling Cup defeat by West Ham, although Michael Turner (ankle) has returned to training.

Record signing Asamoah Gyan is a major doubt with a hamstring injury, although skipper Lee Cattermole returns from a two-match ban following his second red card of the campaign.

Goalkeeper Craig Gordon is close to returning to full training after breaking his arm, but striker Fraizer Campbell is facing six months out after undergoing knee surgery and David Meyler (also knee) is a long-term casualty.

Goalkeeper Simon Mignolet is confident Sunderland can end their miserable run at Anfield.

The Black Cats head for Anfield having failed even to score there in a decade with just two draws to show for their past seven visits.

Not since September 2000, when Michael Owen cancelled out Kevin Phillips' early strike, have the Wearsiders found the back of the net on the red half of Merseyside, and that is a situation they are keen to change as they attempt to improve their dreadful form on the road.

Bruce's men won only twice on their travels last season and are yet to register this.

Mignolet said: "Let's hope we can change that, let's hope we can get some points out of it.

"Ten years is a long time, so it is maybe time to change something."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE:

Premier League

Article Comments

Read more

Report author of article

Please let us know if you believe this article is in violation of our editorial policy, please only report articles for one of the following reasons.

Report author


This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

Want more content like this?

Like our GiveMeSport Facebook Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to Facebook, don't ask me again

Follow GiveMeSport on Twitter and you will get this directly to you.

Already Following, don't ask me again

Like our GiveMeSport Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to G+, don't ask me again