It looks like the rumors that came out last night about Raheem Sterling being given an extra match off for an extended winter break in Jamaica are true, as he's not in the squad to face Sunderland today. The big story line is that Fabio Borini is in the starting lineup to face the Sunderland team he played so well for on loan last season. It's heartening to see the Italian youngster given the chance to shine from the start for Liverpool, but also speaks volumes about Brendan Rodgers' trust in his other Italian striker, Mario Balotelli. This match could be the deciding factor for whether or not we see Super Mario extend his stay on Merseyside for the rest of the season, or if he's shown the exit door after 6 months a la Robbie Keane.
Following the early match between Liverpool and Sunderland, we'll see the following matches:
Burnley vs. Queens Park Rangers
Leicester City vs. Aston VIlla
Swansea City vs. West Ham United
West Bromwich Albion vs. Hull City
Crystal Palace vs. Tottenham Hotspur
For my fantasy team, I've settled on a slightly risky team and gone with the lineup below:
Kyle Walker / Jores Okore / Christian Gamboa
Andros Townsend / Angel Di Maria / Cesc Fabregas / David Silva
Harry Kane / Diego Costa / Steven Jovetic
Obviously there is a gamble on Christian Gamboa at the back for West Brom, but I think Tony Pulis may give him the nod ahead of Andre Wisdom for his first game in charge. If he doesn't play, I've got Aaron Cresswell on the bench for cover. Barry Bannan also waits in the wings.
Who did you wind up with? What are you anticipating for today's matches? Let's chat!