Writer: Gary Johnson
Date:Friday September 24 2010
Stadium of Light
Sunderland go into this game on the back of an unbeaten run of three games in the league. They were not at the races during midweek against The Irons but could face a very low confidenced Liverpool on Saturday.
Steve Bruce will be looking for a response, as will Hodgson as they both look to turn things around after a poor week for both clubs.
Liverpool fans are planning a protest before the game and this could play into our advantage if we manage to keep a clean sheet for the opening stages of the game.
Darren Bent will look to play the lone ranger up front and praying for another beachball to help him out this time around.
'I made a decision at the start of the season - and a conscious one - that he is the captain, and I am going to stand by him.
'He is still my captain.
'I was convinced it was the right thing to do when I gave him it, and after what has happened to him, I am still convinced that in the long term, Sunderland will benefit from Lee Cattermole being the captain of the club.
'The other night, we missed Lee Cattermole. I genuinely think the team is better when he is in it.
'His mentality has to change.
'Once you are tarnished like Vinnie Jones in my era, or Joey Barton, if you get tagged with it, it is very, very difficult to take it away.
'There is this reputation that he has, unfortunately, and he has got to rid himself of it.
'The only way he can do that is by playing games regularly, staying on the pitch, keeping his nose clean and getting on with the game, which is the most important thing.'
Dirk Kuyt could return from his shoulder injury and Hodgson could make many changes from their latest set back in the cup.
He has scored a wonder goal against us before and is capable of doing the same this weekend. He had a poor World Cup (although his nation won it) and has been poor this season also in the early stages.
Our defence still needs to be on their toes as any mistake made can go punished by the Spanish forward.
Sunderland are facing a mini injury crisis after the shock defeat in midweek.
Gyan, Richardson and Ferdinand are all injured for this game through the same injury, hamstring strains.
Mensah and Turner are facing late fitness tests and Cattermole returns from his second suspension in only 5 league games!
Maybe we need to watch him as much as the opposition with his tackles! However, Bruce has stuck with Cattermole and kept him as captain to give the lad some confidence on his return to the team.
Cattermole can be crucial to the way Sunderland play and I feel this game he will aim to impress to show everyone what he is capable of doing in midfield.
Sunderland have gone 12 games without a win at Anfield in all competitions, failing to score in their last six games there.
The Reds have not scored a single goal in the first half of Premier League games this season.
Referee: Stuart Attwell Assistant referees: Mike Cairns & Ron Ganfield Fourth official: Lee Probert
Liverpool 1 - 1 Sunderland I know we got beat against West Ham on Tuesday, but I have a good feeling about this game for Sunderland. Bruce will not have been impressed with losing at home in the cup and will look for a response from his team at Anfield. With Liverpool having a dreadful start to the season and low on confidence this is the besr time to play the Scousers.
Man United come to Sunderland next weekend.
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Date:Friday September 24 2010
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