Premier League action resumes this weekend after an international break. We'll see if the days off help the Reds notch their first league win of the season, but Sunderland will make it tough. Can the Black Cats stop Liverpool?
Sunderland vs. Liverpool EPL Pick
It must be said: there's some very attractive value on the
Black Cats this weekend.
The Stadium of Light is always a daunting venue for opposing
teams to come into and play their normal game. Sunderland is quoted at +243 in
the soccer odds against the struggling Reds – that's where the value comes into
Liverpool is listed at +127, with a draw at +241. Need help
deciphering which side to roll with? Let's see what we can come up with.
As one of their games was postponed due to weather, the
Black Cats have only played two EPL fixtures so far. Each ended in a tie.
Both results were positive considering the circumstances.
Sunderland held Arsenal to a 0-0 draw on opening day and then drew an
impressive Swansea City outfit 2-2 two weeks ago.
The Black Cats came into the game against the Swans with a
clear strategy to make the game ugly and play defensive. And it succeeded.
Though they only generated four total chances, Sunderland scored on two of
them, both of which were scored by Steven Fletcher.
Fletcher has obviously made himself right at home in his new
surroundings since moving over from Wolves. He's been a great addition to the
squad, while Adam Johnson was also signed recently and immediately found
himself slotted into the starting lineup. Sunderland is looking quite strong at
the moment, with Lee Cattermole, Sebastian Larsson and Stephane Sessegnon also
contributing in the early stages.
With only one point out of their first three matches, the
Reds have already dug themselves a deep hole in the Premier League. Things were
looking up after a great showing against Manchester City, but then Liverpool
failed to assert themselves versus Arsenal, losing 2-0 at Anfield.
The final ball was just never there for the Reds. They had
some stretches where they were knocking the ball around well and chances did
come here and there, but Luis Suarez again missed some opportunities among
What was promising was the continued excellent play of
Raheem Sterling and Joe Allen.Allen has
been a rock in midfield since his move from Swansea City. It's rare that you'll
ever see him make a mistake out there. Sterling, who was just called up into
the England national team due to a number of injuries to first-choice players,
has been extremely exciting in his first-team appearances for the club so far.
We're still waiting and waiting to see the Reds fully
embrace the new philosophy under Brendan Rodgers.
It may take some time yet.
Sunderland has been on the rise ever since Martin O'Neill
took over the reigns of the club. He's seemingly done all the right things and
the results speak for themselves. His team should be well up for the challenge
this weekend. It's going to be an insanely loud atmosphere at the Stadium of
Light and the Reds are going to have to handle the pressure well if they want
to rid these early-season demons.
Last season, Sunderland won this corresponding fixture 1-0
thanks to a Nicklas Bendtner goal in the second half. Bendtner has moved on,
but the Black Cats have re-tooled their squad nicely and are playing well.
Even so, we are thinking Liverpool comes out in a clear
state of mind this weekend following that long layoff. That's why we're backing
a draw at +241 with our soccer picks.
Free Soccer Pick: Sunderland 1 Liverpool 1