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Gus Poyet’s Black Cats primed to pounce on lacklustre Liverpool

Liverpool are unbeaten in six matches in all competitions, and have earned eight points from their last four Premier League matches. As a result, the Reds are odds-on at 19/20 with Coral to take all three points away from the Stadium of Light.

Sunderland, by contrast, have only accumulated half the tally of Liverpool over the same amount of league games. Their last victory came in arguably one of the club’s most important match of the campaign, as they beat Newcastle United 1-0 away.

This will be captain Steven Gerrard’s first league fixture, since he sensationally announced he would be leaving at the end of the season to join LA Galaxy. He bagged a brace last time out, as Liverpool were held to a 2-2 draw by Leicester City at Anfield. To score anytime and for his team to win, you won’t find a better value price than 9/2 anywhere else on the market.

Simon Mignolet and Jordan Henderson both return to their former club, and the Reds custodian is 31/20 to keep a clean sheet, while the latter is 11/2 to net anytime.

Earlier in the campaign, these two teams played out a stalemate at Anfield, and you can get tempting 10/1 odds of this score repeating itself here. Brendan Rodgers will take heart from the fact that the Reds are unbeaten in five meetings with Sunderland, having recorded three wins and two draws against the Black Cats.

Fabio Borini, who spent last season on loan at Sunderland, and who rejected a permanent move to Wearside in the summer could well feature in attack for the visitors, having played a crucial part in the Black Cats’ Premier League survival last term. He is 6/4 to make the net bulge anytime.

Mario Balotelli is fast running out of chances at the club, and needs to start scoring. He is likely to get a chance against Sunderland, with Daniel Sturridge not likely to be fit until later this month. The maverick Italian striker is 5/1 to break the deadlock, while youngster Raheem Sterling is also 5/1 in the same market.

Top scorer this season for the hosts, Adam Johnson is a very worthwhile 5/1 price to strike anytime, having dispatched in the club’s last league match against Manchester City at the Etihad, as they narrowly lost 3-2 in a close contest.

Steven Fletcher has also been effective for Poyet’s side recently, bringing other teammates into play with his unselfish, hardworking style, though is a considerable threat from set pieces. He can certainly bully Liverpool’s fragile rearguard, and definitely has the beating of them at corners. Excellent odds of 8/1 will see him score first, if Sunderland get off to a flier. It is their first cup final of the year.