Sunderland v Liverpool, Saturday 17:30
– Liverpool fell victim to a resurgent Arsenal 0-2 at home last time out. There was reason for hope though despite the extension of Brendan Roger’s disappointing start at Anfield, with the emergence of 17 year Raheem Sterling as a real talent for the future.
– Joe Allen has so far proved an excellent buy for Brendan Rogers, with his stamina nicely complementing his slick passing game. He racked up 6.16 miles against Arsenal last time around. The young Welsh midfielder also tops the list for furthest distance ran by any Liverpool player this season with an impressive 19.24 miles.
– Steven Gerrard continued to show his influence in the Liverpool midfield despite the eventual loss. He managed 37 completed passes and delivered 5 crosses, both more than any other Liverpool player.
– Raheem Sterling came into the Arsenal game with plenty of people talking about his pace as a major asset for Liverpool. He didn’t disappoint after recording a game-high 22.32mph.
– Liverpool will be looking for greater accuracy from Luiz Suarez next time out, 10 of his 16 shots so far this season have missed the target, with only 1 goal from the remaining 6.
– Sunderland will have been disappointed not to have claimed all 3 points against Swansea, with two goals from Steven Fletcher marking an impressive debut for the Black Cats. The arrival of Steven Fletcher couldn’t have come soon enough for Sunderland’s goal-hungry fans. His 2 shots on target on debut already mark the highest total in the Sunderland squad so far this season.
– Adam Johnson is clearly keen to grasp the chance of a starting role with Sunderland. He ran for a total of 6.47 miles against Swansea, second only to James McLean in the Sunderland team, and delivering 3 crosses along the way. James McLean continues to show he has plenty to his game aside from creativity moving forward. He showcased his workman-like attitude against Swansea with 6.7 miles of work put in, the highest of any player on the pitch.
– Martin O’Neill will be looking for more of the same defensive work from Jack Colback this week. Sunderland will likely need him to build on his 100% success rate from his 7 challenges against Swansea.