Jose Enrique (hamstring) was withdrawn during Sunday’s 3-0 win over QPR so is a doubt for the January 2 clash, with Stewart Downing likely to fill in at left-back. The Spaniard joins Martin Kelly (knee) on the treatment table, but Brad Jones (illness) could return.
Wes Brown (knee) is expected to miss the trip to Anfield, while John O’Shea (hamstring) failed to complete the full 90 minutes of the 2-1 loss to Tottenham on Saturday and is likely to miss the game along with long-term absentee Lee Cattermole (knee).
Titus Bramble replaced the former Manchester United defender against Spurs, and could continue to deputise against Liverpool.
- Luis Suarez has scored in three of his four Premier League appearances against Sunderland.
- Steven Gerrard is one of only two midfielders (alongside Arsenal’s Mikel Arteta) to play every minute of every Premier League game this season.
- Liverpool hit the woodwork on 26 occasions during 2012, more than any other team.
- Martin O’Neill has faced Liverpool 18 times in the Premier League, winning six, drawing seven and losing five.
- Sunderland are unbeaten in the Premier League this season in games in which Steven Fletcher (pictured right) has scored.
- The Black Cats have won just one of their last 15 Premier League away games.