MARTIN O’Neill is hoping for a Christmas repeat – of his previous Anfield triumphs.
Sunderland’s record at Liverpool since returning to the Premier League is not much to shout about and their last victory at Anfield was back in 1983.
They have drawn on the last two occasions they went to Liverpool, last season’s opening-day draw proving a false dawn in the Steve Bruce era.
Despite previous travails they are yet to visit the famous old ground under the stewardship of O’Neill, who can remember several successful visits during his time with both Leicester and Aston Villa. He said: “It’s a great ground, very atmospheric and a great ground to visit.
“For one or two of our lads – particularly the younger lads – it will be a great experience.
“I have won almost every time there, with Leicester we won three consecutive times – so I’ve done all right there.
“I won with Aston Villa and was also well beaten once. We lost by five and it could have been a lot more.”
Under Brendan Rodgers this season the Reds have been nothing if not inconsistent, preceding a fine recent spell of form with a virtually inexplicable defeat at home to ailing Aston Villa.
They are in a period of transition under the ex-Swansea boss and using this campaign to blood a number of youngsters, including wonderkid Raheem Sterling.
However, O’Neill has a timely reminder for anyone who thinks Sunderland are travelling to the north west to face a weakened Liverpool challenge this term.
He added: “Liverpool won the League Cup and reached the final of FA Cup last season.
“They have one or two young kids but still have great players at their disposal.”