When: August 13, 10 AM EST
Watch: Fox Sports Channel, Streaming on ESPN3
Liverpool and Sunderland are both looking to kick off their season with a victory over another top 10 foe when these two teams meet in Liverpool for their opening match of the season. Liverpool had an up-and-down year as they recorded 58 points and came in sixth in the EPL last season, while Sunderland finished in 10th with 47 points.
Both teams will have a new look to them this year as Sunderland has brought in 10 new players to the squad while Liverpool has added four players.
Liverpool will be without their captain Steven Gerrard for the first couple months of the season as he is sidelined with a groin infection. However, the bigger loss for Liverpool will be the absence of Martin Skrtel in the backline.
Sunderland has also been bitten by the injury bug as former Manchester United defender John O'Shea will not be traveling with the team on their trip to Anfield.
Liverpool's Key Addition: Stewart Downing
Liverpool desperately needed a midfielder that could stretch the field and the experienced Downing certainly fits the bill. Downing started in all 38 game for Aston Villa last season and provided a point every two matches to the squad.
He should fit in nicely in the midfield for Liverpool and will help provide services in the box for Luis Suarez.
Liverpool's Biggest Loss: Paul Konchesky
Liverpool did not lose anyone of significant value this offseason. Konchesky is a solid bench player but was not in the long term plans of the club at 30 years of age.
He was a solid emergency option, but Liverpool will not be adversely affected by his loss.
Sunderland's Key Addition: Connor Wickham and John O'Shea
Wickham is young and may not make too much of an impact in his first year but he is a player that could develop into a star in the years to come.
O'Shea will make the biggest impact this year as he comes over from Manchester United. He is poised to be the new captain for Sunderland and will provide solid veteran leadership both on and off the field.
Sunderland's Biggest Loss: Jordan Henderson
Sunderland got terrific value for Henderson as they landed £16 million from Liverpool. However, he was an asset to the Sunderland midfield and will be greatly missed.
While he only recorded four goals for Sunderland in his career he is still a young talent and still has room to develop.
What's Worth Watching: Liverpool Midfielders
With the addition of Stewart Downing and Jordan Henderson the Liverpool midfield has been revamped and has a lot more weapons than they had previously.
Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish has put a lot of work into adding key pieces in the midfield so it will be interesting to see how it all comes together.
Biggest Storyline: Will Luis Suarez play?
Luis Suarez just returned to training on Monday and his availability for the match is up in the air. If he plays he will be the focal point of the Liverpool attack.
If he sits the match out, Liverpool will rely solely on Andy Carroll to lead the attack. Carroll has been scrutinized a lot in his career so it will be interesting to see if he can record a point in the first game of the season.
Projected Starting 11
Here are the projected starting lineups according to The Telegraph:
Liverpool (4-3-3): Reina, Kelly, Agger, Carragher, Aurelio, Henderson, Lucas, Adam, Downing, Carroll, Suarez
Sunderland (4-4-1-1): Mignolet, Bardsley, Brown, Bramble, Richardson, Larsson, Gardner, Cattermole, Vaughan, Sessegnon, Gyan.
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