Next Up: Sunderland (a)

The international break couldn’t come sooner for Rafa Benitez as he looks to regroup his team after suffering their third league defeat of the season away to Chelsea.

Next up is a trip up to the only side remaining in the Premier League from the North-East.

Sunderland enjoyed a 2-2 draw at Manchester United in their last league outing – a defeat that could so nearly have been a victory for Steve Bruce’s side had it not been for a last minute Anton Ferdinand own goal.

It was thought Liverpool would have Italian midfielder Alberto Aquilani fit for this fixture, but reports now suggest the £18million summer signing will have to wait until the Reds’ Carling Cup tie with Arsenal on Ocotber 28th for his debut.

Nabil El Zahr remains sidelined, but defender Daniel Agger could well make his first appearance of the season after recovering from a back operation.

Kick-off at the Stadium of Light is 3pm.