Stadium of Light – Saturday 10th January at 12:45 live on BT Sport 1

The first Premier League game of the weekend after last weekend’s FA Cup ties, see’s Sunderland host Liverpool at the Stadium of Light. Both progressed into the 4th round of the Cup with narrow victories over lower leagues sides.

Sunderland are struggling to pick up wins this season, winning just 2 in their last 13 league matches. The Black Cats haven’t lost many either, in fact there are only 4 teams who have lost fewer in the league, Sunderland’s problem is they love a draw, 11 in 20 so far this campaign. They’ve held the likes of Man Utd, Spurs and Liverpool and were unlucky not to come away from the Etihad with a point on New Years Day, managing to put 2 past the champions, an impressive achievement itself. Gus Poyet’s men have started to find the back of the net recently, scoring 7 in their last 8 in all competitions and against a Liverpool defense which has a tendency to concede, they will fancy their chances of adding to their 18 league goals on Saturday.

This week’s football columns have been dominated by the news that Steven Gerrard decided not to stay at his beloved Liverpool and has now signed for LA Galaxy. There have been plenty of rumours of a rift between him and Brendan Rodgers but Gerrard started the FA Cup tie against Wycombe and scored both of the Reds goals in the 2-1 victory. He is currently this seasons top scorer for Liverpool as they struggle to find goals from their strikers, with Suarez gone, Sturridge injury prone, Balotelli a waste of space and Lambert not getting the chances, the Merseyside club could really miss their dynamic captain next season. Liverpool have started to play some good football after a very inconsistent start to the season. They are now up to 8th, 7 from a Champions League spot, surely their main aim now.

With Liverpool losing just 1 in their last 8 league games and Sunderland winning just 1 in 10, the Reds are right to be clear favourties for this match, but with a price at 1.83, there is no value there for me. On their day, the Black Cats are more than capable of holding or beating some of the leagues top teams, something they have proved time again. I see the value in backing Sunderland +0.5 @ 2.03. With the draw on our side, this is my recommendation.

Price correct at time of writing.

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