Sunderland host Liverpool in the final Premier League match of 2015 looking to close the current seven-point gap between themselves and safety.
After a promising start under Sam Allardyce, in which the Black Cats pulled themselves out of the bottom-three, four straight defeats leaves them sitting in a poor position heading into this clash at the Stadium of Light.
Despite having faced Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal and in-form Watford, Big Sam would have been expecting a better return after wins against Crystal Palace and Stoke last month.
The Wearsiders have only won two of their 10 league outings in front of their own fans this term and welcome a Liverpool side who can move into the top-seven with a victory.
Jugen Klopp’s Reds became just the second side to defeat Leicester this term following their 1-0 victory over the Foxes on Boxing Day, and the German will now be looking to add another three points to his team’s tally on Wednesday night.
However, after impressive wins at Manchester City, Chelsea and Southampton (League Cup) the Merseyside outfit lost at Newcastle and Watford in their last two away league matches.
Overall, Liverpool, who are undefeated in their last six meetings against Sunderland, have won three, drawn three and lost three of their nine top-flight trips this term.
John O’Shea is struggling with a calf problem for the hosts and could be replaced by Wes Brown, despite the former England defender having made just one appearance this term.
Fellow centre-back Younes Kaboul (hamstring) won’t return for a few weeks.
Daniel Sturridge will play no part for the visitors until Klopp is certain the England striker is fully fit.
Meanwhile, James Milner is still out, Divock Origi is a doubt but Jordon Ibe has recovered from illness.
League Position: Sunderland – 19th (12 pts); Liverpool – 10th (27 pts)
Last Meeting: Sunderland 0-1 Liverpool – January 10, 2015
Key Players: Sunderland – Yann M’Vila; Liverpool – Philippe Coutinho
League Form: Sunderland – WWLLLL; Liverpool – WWLDLW
Shoot Says: Sunderland 1-2 Liverpool