Liverpool will be upbeat after ending 2016 on a high, defeating Manchester City, and the Reds will hope to start the year 2017 on a bright note as they face Sunderland at the Stadium of Light on Monday.
Jurgen Klopp's team can close the gap on leaders Chelsea, who are currently enjoying a six-point lead. With Blues playing Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday, Liverpool can at least close the gap by three points till then. However, the Reds also need to play some good football to clinch three points against Sunderland.
With this Sunderland clash being just 44 hours after the City match, Liverpool might go in with some changes. Liverpool decided to play Roberto Firmino as the false number nine, and for this match against Sunderland, one would not be surprised if Daniel Sturridge or Divock Origi start the Premier League encounter. Sadio Mane will be playing his last game for Liverpool before heading for the African Nations Cup.
This could be a perfect time for Liverpool to try different formation and players with two strikers up front as they will play a maximum of seven matches. They will not only play in the league, but also the EFL and the FA Cup, which is surely going to the test the Liverpool players' fitness. Klopp will just have three points on his mind when his team squares off on Monday.
"First of all, it was very important we won (against City) – we invested that much, it would be really hard if you got nothing, we got everything. That's great. Now, we have to go to Sunderland and play our best, it's the same for Sunderland, they played this afternoon a few hours earlier and I said enough about the fixtures. Long, long ago we accepted it and now we go there and try to get the next three points," Liverpool Echo quoted Klopp as saying.
Though Liverpool defeated City, it was one of those clashes, where they did not look smooth in attack, but Klopp will want to see some more goals from his team. For Sunderland, they will have to find ways to counter Liverpool's attack, which has been impressive this season. Liverpool have scored the maximum goals this season -- 46.
Liverpool might be the favourite for the clash, but Sunderland's Jermain Defoe has it in him to trouble Liverpool defenders, who have been shaky sometimes. Sunderland have been poor this season, winning only four matches, and are hence struggling in the relegation zone.
Following their 4-1 loss to Burnley, they will be more than eager to shine against Liverpool. They need to be on top of their toes against the confident Liverpool side. Manager David Moyes wants his team to play better football against Liverpool.
"We have to get ready, pick ourselves up and we have to go again. Sometimes football gives you results when you least expect it, so we've got to hope it's one of those days," Sunderland's official website quoted Moyes as saying.
"We're going to have to play really well to get a result against Liverpool so we're not kidding anybody on, but I always said we have a difficult Christmas period. If we play like we did against Burnley we're not going to get any joy at all," he added.
Where to Watch Live
Everton vs Liverpool is set to begin at 3 pm GMT (8.30 pm IST, 10 pm ET). Live Streaming and TV information for the derby match is below.
India: TV: Star Sports Select HD1. Live Streaming: Hotstar.
UK: TV: NO COVERAGE
USA: TV: NBCSN. Live Streaming: NBC Sports Live.
Canada: TV: Sportsnet. Live Streaming: Watch Sportsnet.
Australia: TV: Optus Sport. Live Streaming: Optus Online.
Live Score: Official website