By Harvey Byrne

Sunderland defensive midfielder Paddy McNair will miss his side’s clash against Liverpool this weekend and is expected to miss the rest of the season, according to a report.

The Sky Sports website has claimed that the 21-year-old ruptured his cruciate ligament during Saturday’s 3-0 victory over Hull.

The former Manchester United man left the pitch after 88 minutes as a substitute, but it is reported that he suffered the injury during the first half.

McNair has been a vital part of the Black Cats’ defensive unit this season and will be a huge blow with a relentless Liverpool attack to face next.

Jurgen Klopp’s side are the top scorers in the Premier League this season with 30 goals from their opening 12 fixtures.

The Reds have scored 17 of their goals at home and Sunderland manager David Moyes has never won at Anfield with Everton and Manchester United respectively.

Liverpool are currently sat in second in the league table and they will be looking to claim all three points against a side placed in 19th.

However, Sunderland have won their last two fixtures against Hull and Bournemouth and are looking to turnaround their poor early season form.

Football Insider verdict:

The injury to the young starlet will come as a huge blow to the club and McNair. Sunderland are facing another relegation battle and the former Manchester United man would have been considered by David Moyes to be a key figure in their survival bid. However, with McNair now expected to miss the rest of the campaign, their bid to avoid freefalling into the Championship is set to suffer unless a replacement can be secured. Already three points adrift of 17th place the Black Cats may need to enter the January market for a replacement for the injured man. Meanwhile, for McNair it is hopeful that he can return from the long-term injury, which has seen some players fail to recapture their previous form.

In other Liverpool news, why this Reds outcast would be perfect for Southampton.