MATT KILGALLON has been preferred to Titus Bramble as the man to start alongside Carlos Cuellar at the heart of the Sunderland defence tonight.

Kilgallon has moved inside to replace John O'Shea, ruled out with a hamstring problem,  because of the return to the team of left-back Danny Rose, who missed Saturday's defeat to Tottenham under the terms of his loan.

Otherwise Sunderland are unchanged against a Liverpool team at Anfield which does not include £15m midfielder Joe Allen.

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Brazilian Lucas Leiva starts in midfield alongside Steven Gerrard, while former Sunderland midfielder Jordan Henderson and ex-Middlesbrough winger Stewart Downing start for the Reds.

There is also no place for new Liverpool signing Daniel Sturridge. The £12m buy from Chelsea completed his switch today but will is not available for a Premier League bow until January 13 trip to Manchester United. 

LIVERPOOL (4-2-3-1): Reina; Wisdom, Agger, Skrtel, Johnson; Gerrard, Lucas; Sterling, Henderson, Downing; Suarez. Subs: Jones (gk), Sahin, Carragher, Allen, Suso, Shelvey, Robinson.

SUNDERLAND (4-4-2): Mignolet; Gardner, Cuellar, Kilgallon, Rose; Johnson, Larsson, Ccolback, McClean; Sessegnon, Fletcher. Subs: Westwood (gk), Bardsley, Campbell, Wickham, McFadden, Vaughan, Bramble.