With the news of Luis Suarez due back on training duty next week, the beginning of the Championship and the upcoming community shield, I'm back in the mood for predicting match scores.
The opening day brings Sunderland to Anfield, with new comer Jordan Henderson looking to make his competitive debut against his former club. Other new signings Charlie Adam and Stewart Downing will also look to push for a starting place.
On Saturday the 17th of October 2009, Sunderland defeated Liverpool thanks to a somewhat dubious Darren Bent goal that is known nowadays as 'The Beachball Goal'. From then, Sunderland have taken points from Liverpool time and time again, though the last meeting ended in a 2-0 Liverpool win at the Stadium of Light.
Luis Suarez scored a brilliant second that day, but he may not play a part, as Kenny Dalglish is unsure when to bring him back into action. Talismanic captain and crowd favourite Steven Gerrard is not able to play until September.
So, who will be played, and in what formation?
I think Kenny Dalglish will look to a either:
Reina, Johnson, Agger, Carragher, Aurelio, Henderson, Lucas, Meireles (Adam), Downing, Kuyt, Carroll.
This formation certainly looks quite solid defensively. But Andy Carroll will look to make an improvement on his last pre-season outings, after failing to impress.
Or a 4-3-3:
Reina, Johnson, Agger, Carragher, Aurelio, Lucas, Meireles (Henderson), Adam, Kuyt, Carroll, Downing.
This formation would look to utilise the wings more and use the services of Stewart Downing in particular to get balls into the box. Should Liverpool use this formation well they definitely will be capable of scoring two or more goals.
Liverpool 3-1 Sunderland. Thanks for reading.