Steven Gerrard retired today, ending an 18-year career as a professional football player. Also, Jürgen Klopp held a little press conference meant to be about Liverpool’s next opponents, Sunderland, who they are set to face off against on Saturday from Anfield.
“It’s hard for you to ask about Sunderland because everything else right now seems to be more interesting,” joked the manager earlier today. “It’s like the points have already been counted. But we couldn’t be further away from having the points already.
“We won’t underestimate Sunderland, and if one other person in the stadium underestimates them it would be a mistake. Sunderland took six points from their last two games and we only got four, so if you like they are maybe the favourites for this game.”
Calling the Black Cats favourites might be a stretch, even their past two matches have seen them defeat Hull City and Bournemouth by a combined score of 5-1. In part that’s because with those six points added to their tally, they now only have eight in total.
Their past two games were their first two wins of the season so far, and David Moyes’ side remain relegation favourites. However, those positive results certainly do prove that any side that takes Sunderland for granted can, in the end, come up short.
“They are one of the better teams at making high-intensity sprints,” Klopp noted of Liverpool’s upcoming opponents. “They don’t have the most possession, which shows they are a counter-attacking team and they are also strong from set pieces.
“They will have gotten confidence from their recent wins but out job is to show from the first second we are different. I really hope the team will be ready for it, and I hope too the whole crowd are ready for it. Everything is prepared for a good football game.”
After Sunderland, Liverpool host Leeds in the EFL Cup on Tuesday before traveling to face Bournemouth as they kick off a busy December that sees them play six games. And with Chelsea facing Spurs on Saturday, a win could put the Reds back top of the table.