Next Up: Sunderland (h)

After the dreary 2-0 defeat to Middlesbrough at the weekend, surely any faint hopes of catching Man United have gone now.

The shocking performance puts the Reds down to third place, behind Chelea who beat Wigan.

And now they face Sunderland at home on Tuesday night. The Mackems sit 11th in the league on 31 points, a full 24 behind Liverpool.

The corresponding fixture at the Stadium of Light saw Liverpool walk away 1-0 winners on the opening day of the season, courtesy of a late Fernando Torres strike.

Torres, though, remains sidelined with an ankle problem picked up in the Bernabeu last week and full back Alvaro Arbeloa is also on the injury list. Captain Steven Gerrard should be fit to play after playing 75 minutes of the defeat at the Riverside.

Youngster Stephen Darby will be hoping for an opportunity in Arbeloa’s absence after Martin Skrtel looked hugely uncomfortable there on Saturday.

Former Liverpool striker Djibril Cisse lines up for Ricky Sbragia’s side as he returns to Anfield for the first time since his departure in 2006.

Kick off is 8pm, live on Sky Sports.

Liverpool (from): Reina, Carragher, Skrtel, Hyypia, Dossena, Aurelio, Babel, Benayoun, Gerrard, Mascherano, Alonso, Kuyt, Lucas, Ngog, El Zhar, Riera, Darby, Cavalieri.

Sunderland (from): Fulop, Gordon, Bardsley, McCartney, Ferdinand, Collins, McShane, Davenport, Ben Haim, Whitehead, Malbranque, Leadbitter, Tainio, Richardson, Edwards, Yorke, Reid, Cisse, Jones, Murphy, Healy.