Liverpool must be cursing their luck at the timing of the departure of the enigmatic Paolo Di Canio. Assuming rumours of a player insurrection were true, Di Canio's departure would have been music to the ears of the Sunderland players. I can image there was an extra zip in training as fringe players and first teamer's alike looked to assert their names on the team-sheet.
At the very least Sunderland fans will be hoping so, they have been woeful in all of their Premier League matches (barring Fulham) and were incredibly lucky against Southampton to gain a point. Indeed it is hard to pinpoint an actual area where they have been poorest, so I'll turn to the area of the field which will determine where the match will be won and lost; the midfield. Here they have been particularly unproductive in fashioning out chances for the forwards.
No doubt, this level of wastefulness puts a strain on the defence and is the sole reason why they have been under copious amounts of pressure. This is great news for Brendan Rodgers team as they themselves have struggled to really open up teams.
Assuming Sunderland live up to the 'sacking culture' in football, Liverpool could be in for a whole heap of unexpected trouble. By 'sacking culture', I mean the belief a dismissal in an unpopular manager immediately leading to a change in fortunes. Unfortunately for Sunderland I do not believe in such platitudes and here is why:
According to Dutch economist Dr Bas ter Weel "Changing a manager during a crisis in the season does improve the results in the short term, this is a misleading statistic because not changing the manager would have had the same result."
*Quoted from the BBC article: Does it make statistical sense to sack a football manager?
Sunderland 0-2 Liverpool