After a busy summer in the transfer market, Liverpool and Sunday go head to head this afternoon as the new Premier League season gets underway.
Anfield is set to host the contest, with both teams hoping to get off to a winning start. They will also be keen for their new signings to settle in quickly on this opening weekend.
There has been lots of ‘new era’ talk amongst Liverpool fans over the last few months and led by Kenny Dalglish for his first full season in this second spell in charge, there is a lot of expectation on this new look squad.
There were signs of progress in the last campaign, helped by new signings Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez in January. This needs to continue in the first few weeks of the new season.
In terms of players brought in, Dalglish has signed Charlie Adam from Blackpool, Stewart Downing from Aston Villa, Jose Enrique from Newcastle and Jordan Henderson from today’s opponents Sunderland.
As for the Black Cats, Steve Bruce has brought in plenty of new blood too. Wes Brown and John O’Shea have arrived from Manchester United, while the highly-rated Connor Wickham has come in from Ipswich Town.
One of the biggest challenges for Sunderland will be for the new signings to work together well in the early stages of the season, starting with today’s game against Liverpool.
Looking at the team news for this one, Suarez could feature despite only recently returning to club duty after Copa America, while Steven Gerrard and Martin Skrtel are certainly out. Glen Johnson will face a late fitness test.
As for Sunderland, new signing O’Shea is sidelined with a hamstring injury, but Brown, Wickham, Craig Gardner, David Vaughan and Sebastian Larsson could feature.
Both teams will be approaching this one with attacking intent, so this should be an entertaining match in front of two sets of excited fans.