Liverpool look a banker for away win at struggling Sunderland
Jamie Clark, Sports Editor | December 29, 2015
Sunderland v Liverpool
- Premier League
- Wednesday, December 30th
- Kick-off: 19:45 GMT
- Stadium of Light, Sunderland
- Live on Sky Sports 1
Reds worthy favourites to win on Wearside
Liverpool have won their last two trips to Sunderland and, with Sam Allardyce’s side struggling some seven points from Premier League safety, it is hard to see anything other an away win.
Coral are entirely justified, then, in making Jurgen Klopp’s Red odds-on 7/10 favourites for victory at the Stadium of Light, with the hosting Black Cats a big price at 9/2 to record an upset.
Sunderland have the worst top-flight defensive record with 37 goals conceded, so it is difficult to even make the case for a draw at 11/4. Big Sam could be without both John O’Shea and Younes Kaboul, leaving the home team short at centre half.
Former Kop flops have plenty to prove
That will leave much of the defending in the hands of ex-Anfield prospect Sebastian Coates, but the rangy Uruguay international is yet to fulfill the potential that a 6ft 5in physical centre back should in the Premier League.
If O’Shea fails to overcome a calf problem, Coates will have an even older partner in rusty veteran Wes Brown. A Black Cats backline pairing such as this will find stopping Liverpool scoring nigh on impossible.
One bright light for Sunderland in a bleak mid-winter has been the festive form of Fabio Borini – another that failed to rock the Kop. He’s scored in successive games before his battle with his old employers, albeit consolation goals.
Italy international Borini is worth taking, though, in an enhanced matchday special bet of 9/2 to score anytime. Punters can stake a maximum of £20 on this boosted price, which in the regular market is 7/2.
Benteke often batters Black Cats
When on Aston Villa’s books during better times for the West Midlands outfit, who like Allardyce’s side are already staring relegation in the face, Christian Benteke had a huge hand in crushing Sunderland.
The big Belgium frontman starred in a 6-1 thumping, hitting a hat-trick in 2013, but it is the brace he bagged when last visiting the Stadium of Light earlier this year in a 4-0 rout that added extra evidence to backing Benteke in scorer markets.
Available in an enhanced 5/2 wincast again with a maximum stake of £20, Benteke is also a super 6/1 shot to score two goals or more against the Black Cats yet again.
Having talked with Reds boss Klopp, he is looking to become more of a team player. “I spoke with the manager a few days ago about where I can improve and what he is expecting from me,” Benteke said. “I have to run more and I have to be there for my team-mates.”
Merseyside men should smash Sunderland
If Liverpool reproduce the breath-taking away displays that saw Southampton hit for six in the Capital One Cup, and Manchester City humbled in November, then another matchday special of 9/4 on an away win by two or more goals is worth investing in.
Klopp’s crew will have to do without Divock Origi and Daniel Sturridge on Wearside, as neither are being risked for this trip. That means more is needed from Brazil international duo Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino, who are both 7/4 anytime scorer shouts here.
Clean sheets on the road are also something of a novelty for the Reds, so yet another matchday special of 3/1 for an away win and both teams scoring should be considered.
Coral’s top tip: Liverpool are a terrific 3/1 to beat Sunderland with both teams scoring, and a maximum stake of £20.