24 August 2007
Roy Keane approaches the end of a highly successful first year in football management, with a Sunderland side that have made the best start of the promoted clubs.
This home match with Liverpool comes one week before Keane's eagerly anticipated first return to Manchester United on 1 September.
Unbeaten Liverpool need to score once to total 7,000 league goals in their history.
Sunderland are endeavouring to record their 50th league victory over the Merseysiders.
When these clubs last met in November 2005, Sunderland were rock bottom in the Premier League, and Liverpool the defending European champions.
Liverpool won to register their fifth of what turned out to be 10 straight league victories, Sunderland suffered a seventh of nine straight losses.
1. Already bagged four points after the first three matches. Last time they were in the Premier League it took six matches to garner a first point.
2. Beaten 3-0, away to Wigan last time out, but they've not lost back to back league matches in 33 outings since Cardiff (h) and Norwich (a) defeated them on 31 October and 4 November 2006 respectively.
3. Failed to score in one of the last 19 league matches.
4. Roy Keane has masterminded 27 victories from his 44 league matches in charge, and claimed 89 of the 132 available points.
5. Won only two of the last 19 Premier League matches.
6. Not lost a home league game in 2007.
7. Challenging for a sixth successive home league win.
8. Undefeated in 11 league outings at the Stadium of Light; picked up 29 of 33 points (nine wins, two draws) at home, since losing 0-1 against Preston on 30 December.
9. Not registered three successive home wins in the Premier League since 8 September 2001.
1. One of seven clubs still holding an unbeaten record in the Premier League. The others are Arsenal, Blackburn, Chelsea, Manchester City, Newcastle and Portsmouth.
2. A victory would give them seven points and make it their best start to a Premier League season since 2002-03, when they finished fifth.
3. One of two clubs to have taken the lead in all their Premier League matches this season. Manchester City is the other.
4. Registered just one win in five league outings.
KEY PLAYER NOTES
SUNDERLAND Michael CHOPRA has scored two of Sunderland's three goals so far.
CHOPRA, who's netted 12 goals in his last 18 games, is a hat trick shy of 50 career league goals (Newcastle, Watford, Barnsley, Cardiff and Sunderland).
Last season's top scorer David CONNOLLY needs one goal to total 100 in his league career (Watford, Wolves, Wimbledon, West Ham, Leicester, Wigan and Sunderland).
The club's four goals have been scored by four different players, three of which were Liverpool players; Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres in the Premier League and Andriy Voronin in Europe.
HEAD TO HEAD
Goals from Gavin McCann and Michael Proctor secured a surprise 2-1 victory for the Wearsiders in this corresponding fixture on 15 December 2002.
It was one bright spot in a relegation season for Sunderland in which they registered just four victories.
Home and away League (inc PL):
Sunderland 49 wins, Liverpool 60, Draws 31
Prem: Sunderland 1 win, Liverpool 6, Draws 5
At Sunderland only League (inc PL): Sunderland 31 wins, Liverpool 26, Draws 13
Prem: Sunderland 1 win, Liverpool 4, Draws 1