The final game of the Premier League in 2015 sees Liverpool travel to the Stadium of Light to take on Sam Allardyce’s Sunderland side (KO 19:45).
Its getting very serious at the bottom of the table and with seven points between Sunderland and Swansea, who occupy the final place of safety in 17th, picking up points at home will be vital if the Black Cats are to stand any chance of survival this season.
The arrival of Liverpool will not ease any of the worries at the Stadium Of Light with Sunderland on a miserable run of four consecutive defeats, and with Jurgen Klopp’s side still finding the right formula things could get much worse.
The good news for punters is the Paddy Power have announced that they will offer 5/1 on Liverpool to win, which is a huge price increase from the lowly 4/6 offered elsewhere. More details can be found above.
Its been a disappointing Christmas period for Sunderland, although there can be crumbs of comfort in that the Black Cats have faced Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal in recent weeks – games in which they have been defeated.
Jermaine Defoe could make a return to the starting XI for Sam Allardyce to boost attacking options, as could Jack Rodwell, who has missed recent games through suspension. John O’Shea will be missing for the home side at the back but the experienced Wes Brown should step in to provide cover.
The main problem lies in the defence with Sunderland shipping goals at an alarming rate, with 11 conceded in their last four as Liverpool look to slowly build confidence after a sluggish start to new manager Jurgen Klopp’s reign.
The ex Borussia Dortmund manager has found adjusting to life in the Premier League not as easy as he would have thought, with Liverpool stopping a run of four games without a win as they eased passed Leicester City at Anfield.
Their recent away form has been appalling, with a disappointing 2-0 loss to Newcastle at St James Park and more recently a crushing 3-0 defeat to Watford, which will have come as a bitter blow.
The main problem for Liverpool has been a main goalscoring threat, and with only ten goals scored in their last 9 away trips, we could yet again see another low scoring affair.
The manager does now have some options up front, with the disappointing Christian Benteke finally finding his scoring touch with a goal against Leicester, and with Daniel Sturridge reportedly back to full fitness and waiting in the wings Liverpool will look to attack.
Simon Mignolet should keep his place between the posts.
Divock Origi will not feature for Liverpool after a hamstring injury in the Leicester match, while Jordon Ibe could return to the side following illness.
It should be an interesting matchup between two sides struggling for consistancy at the moment, but ultimately with strikers coming into form and returning from injury its one in which Liverpool should just about run out victorious.
Just make sure you take a chunk of that 5/1.