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Confirmed Liverpool lineup vs. Sunderland: Benteke in pole position in attack

Christian Benteke returns to the starting lineup as Liverpool look to build on Saturday’s 1-0 win over Leicester City with a trip to Sunderland.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Monday, August 17, 2015: Liverpool's Christian Benteke celebrates scoring the first goal against AFC Bournemouth during the Premier League match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Benteke has been the subject of speculation in recent weeks, but after a goal against Leicester, public backing from his manager and injury to Divock Origi, he returns to start at the Stadium of Light.

Jurgen Klopp has named the Belgian as the only change to his lineup for the 7.45pm kickoff, despite an away clash with West Ham United to follow on January 2.

This means that Simon Mignolet, Nathaniel Clyne, Dejan Lovren, Mamadou Sakho and Alberto Moreno keep their places as Liverpool’s back five.

Lovren and Sakho look set to build a strong partnership at centre-back, and can hope it keep a clean sheet against the Black Cats.

Likely continuing with the 4-2-3-1 structure that secured victory on Boxing Day, Jordan Henderson and Emre Can will pick up where they left off in midfield.

Adam Lallana, Roberto Firmino and Philippe Coutinho retain their roles in support of Benteke.

On the substitutes’ bench, backup goalkeeper Adam Bogdan is joined by Kolo Toure, Connor Randall, Brad Smith, Lucas Leiva, Joao Carlos Teixeira and Jordon Ibe.

Ibe has recovered from illness to take his position, but Martin Skrtel, James Milner, Daniel Sturridge, Danny Ings, Jordan Rossiter, Jon Flanagan and Joe Gomez all remain out alongside Origi.

Sunderland: Mannone; Jones, Coates, Brown, Van Aanholt; Cattermole, M’Vila, Rodwell; Johnson, Borini, Defoe

Substitutes: Pantilimon, Yedlin, Beadling, Watmore, Lens, Toivonen, Graham

Liverpool: Mignolet; Clyne, Lovren, Sakho, Moreno; Henderson, Can; Lallana, Firmino, Coutinho; Benteke

Substitutes: Bogdan, Toure, Randall, Smith, Lucas, Teixeira, Ibe

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