Liverpool V Sunderland, 14:00 GMT - Saturday, 13 August
Liverpool will welcome Sunderland to Anfield in their season-opening English Premier League encounter, as the Reds hope begin their quest for a Champions League spot with a win.
Many are waiting to watch the a new-look Liverpool side in action as Kenny Dalglish has spent the summer lavishly, signing Jordan Henderson, Stewart Downing, Charlie Adam, Alexandre Doni and Jose Enrique. There was a similar feeling at Anfield this time last year, when Roy Hodgson was in charge, but hope quickly turned to despair after a horrendous start to their season. Eventually, Hodgson got the sack, Dalglish came in and Liverpool's season turned around as they finished 6th.
Though skipper Steven Gerrard is injured for the start of the season, their strength in depth in midfield, means Dalglish has the enviable problem of who to pick as a replacement - Charlie Adam or Raul Meireles. Sunderland themselves have signed many players, including the much-rated Connor Wickham. Though they are unlikely to pose much trouble at Anfield, they're sure to finish in a respectable position come end of the season.
Liverpool's exciting forward Luis Suarez could feature, even though he returned to training on Monday after an extended break following his triumph with Uruguay in Copa America while Stewart Downing, Charlie Adam and Martin Skrtel could all make their debut.
However, Steven Gerrard and Martin Skrtel are both injured while Glen Johnson is doubtful with a thigh strain.
Sunderland will be without new signing John O'Shea who is sidelined by a hamstring injury. However, fellow new-comers Wes Brown, Craig Gardner, David Vaughan, Sebastian Larsson and Connor Wickham could feature.
Sunderland have managed to beat Liverpool only twice in 20 Premier League meetings, although the second of those wins came as near as October 2009 when Darren Bent's shot deflected in off a beach ball, to hand Sunderland a 1-0 win. Interestingly, Sunderland has scored only three goals against Liverpool in their last 10 Premier League encounters, all of which were scored by Bent, who is now an Aston Villa player.
Many have touted Liverpool to challenge for the title, and although that may be a tad ambitious', the Reds main aim will be to secure a Champions League spot - something they are likely to do. A good way to go about that would be to start with a win, and they shouldn't have much of a problem doing that.
Liverpool 2-0 Sunderland