Liverpool, in the top five, take on Middlesbrough, who are just outside the bottom five in this trans-Pennies fixture.
The north-east club are three points above the drop zone; the north-west side one point below a Champions League berth, having won twice as many league games as their opponents (10 to five).
Gareth Southgate's Teessiders have lost five home league games; Rafa Benitez' Merseysiders have been beaten just once on the road.
Liverpool have failed to score in seven of their last eight visits to Teesside, including the last five.
Highest achievable after Saturday's matches: 13th Lowest could fall: 17th
1. Won three of the last six league games, but only won of the last four (away to Portsmouth on 29 December).
2. Lost three of the last four league games.
3. Own the second weakest attack in the highest league with 18 goals netted in 21 outings; rock bottom Derby have managed just 10 from 21.
4. Not scored more than two goals in any league game this term.
5. Conceded the opening goal in a Premier League match 14 times; only Derby have allowed the opposition to score first more often (15 games).
6. Been shown more yellow cards than any other club in the Premier League (46).
7. Only beaten two top half clubs from the 11 fixtures against sides currently in the top 10 (Arsenal and Portsmouth).
8. Only beaten Birmingham and Arsenal in home league games.
9. Holding the second weakest home record in the Premier League with nine points from a possible 30 (two wins, three draws). Only Derby have fared less well; five points from 10 games.
10. Must visit Blackburn after this and end the month with a home league clash against Wigan. In between there's the FA Cup fourth round tie, away to League Two Mansfield.
Highest achievable after Saturday's matches: 4thLowest could fall: 7th
1. Drawn their FA Cup third round tie 1-1, away to League One Luton Town last time out. Prior to that, drawn the last two Premier League fixtures.
2. Unbeaten in four league matches; won two and drawn two since losing 0-1, home to Manchester United on 16 December.
3. Drawn eight Premier League games; only Fulham have finished all square more often (nine times).
4. Beaten by Reading and Manchester United in this Premier League campaign; only Arsenal have been beaten less often (once).
5. Concede 13 league goals, at one every 138 minutes (two hours 18 minutes) on average. Only Manchester United can beat that with 11 goals shipped (one every 172 minutes).
6. Their 20 matches have produced just 47 goals (34 for, 13 against). At 2.35, it's the fourth lowest goals per game average, marginally better than those of West Ham, Manchester United and Chelsea.
7. The strongest side in the last 10 minutes of Premier League matches, when nine goals have been scored and just one conceded; no club can better those returns.
8. Hold the third strongest away record in the Premier League (21 points), behind Portsmouth and Chelsea (22 points each), and boast the meanest defence away from home; conceded just six goals in 10 games on their Premier League travels.
9. Won 110 and lost 110 and 301 away matches in the Premier League.
10. The FA Cup replay, home to Luton, follows this before league fixtures against Aston Villa at Anfield and West Ham at Upton Park.
KEY PLAYER NOTES
Stewart DOWNING is Middlesbrough's top scorer with five goals.
DOWNING and TUNCAY Sanli are the clubs' joint top Premier League marksmen, with four each.
DOWNING is the only remaining player to have started every one of Middlesbrough's Premier League matches this season.
Julio ARCA (one match)Lee CATTERMOLE (one match)
Fernando TORRES is Liverpool's top scorer with 16 goals, and their leading marksman in the Premier League with 10.
Goalkeeper Jose REINA is the only remaining player to have been on the field for every minute of every one of Liverpool's Premier League matches this season.
REINA leads the race for the Barclays Golden Glove with David JAMES of Portsmouth. They have both kept 10 clean sheets.
Xabi ALONSO will be making his 100th career Premier League appearance - all in Liverpool colours.
HEAD TO HEAD
John Arne Riise scored Liverpool's last goal on Teesside. It was an emphatic finish that added to Emile Heskey's effort in a 1-2 victory on 16 March 2002. Gareth Southgate got one back but it was too late.
Liverpool are unbeaten in five Premier League games against Middlesbrough. They have drawn three of their last four matches at the Riverside, including the last two.
Home and awayLeague (inc PL): Middlesbro 37 wins, Liverpool 55, Draws 38Prem: Middlesbro 5 wins, Liverpool 11, Draws 8
at Middlesbrough onlyLeague (inc PL): Middlesbro 24 wins, Liverpool 20, Draws 21Prem: Middlesbro 5 wins, Liverpool 3, Draws 4