Sunderland Liverpool

IT has been an incredibly emotional week for everyone involved with Liverpool Football Club and if ever a team is likely to be fired up for a game, it is the Reds against Sunderland in tomorrow’s early evening kick-off.

Brendan Rodgers, similarly to Villas-Boas, will be very disappointed with the start his team has made to the season. An opening day defeat at West Brom was followed by a much improved display at home against Manchester City when they really should have won. However, it was back to the drawing board after losing 2-0 to Arsenal a fortnight ago where their midfield were outclassed by the Gunners.

The international break was probably a good thing for the Northern Irishman to give him time to regroup and he will be desperate to get three points against his compatriot Martin O’Neill.

Sunderland have made a solid start to the season with two draws from their opening two games away at Arsenal and Swansea. They did really well to contain the Gunners at the Emirates, but O’Neill would have hoped for a win at the Liberty Stadium with his side twice taking the lead and Swansea playing the final 20 minutes with 10 men.

The Black Cats’ home game with Reading last month was postponed, so this is their first match in front of their own fans this term and they will take heart from their 1-0 victory against Liverpool here last season. Sunderland can be backed at a general 9/4 which isn’t a bad price, although with Liverpool desperate to win this for their fans, I think the 13/10 on offer with Coral is worth taking. It nearly always pays to take emotion out of betting, but sometimes things are just meant to be.

The last six meetings between these clubs at the Stadium of Light have had two or fewer goals and each game has been won to nil with four victories to Liverpool and two to the hosts. The 2-0 away win appeals at 10/1 on Betfair and I will also be selling total goals at 2.4 with Sporting Index.

■ Pointers…

Liverpool at 13/10 with Coral
Liverpool to win 2-0 at 10/1 on Betfair
Sell total goals at 2.4 with Sporting Index