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2nd Jan, 2017 | 4:57pm

26-year-old is hugely under-rated: Three things we learned about Liverpool in draw v Sunderland

By Dominic Toner

Football Insider analyses three talking points from Liverpool’s 2-2 draw against Sunderland in the Premier League on Monday.

Henderson is under-rated

Jordan Henderson missed the Sunderland clash through injury and his absence showed. The Liverpool captain is the unsung hero of the side and the role he plays is certainly under-rated, while their attacking players are praised. The combative midfielder screens the back four so well, something that Emre Can struggled to do against Sunderland. Henderson missed the game with a heel injury sustained in the Manchester City victory and Jurgen Klopp will need him back as soon as possible. The England international had played in every league game before the Sunderland clash and he is certainly a huge reason behind their success this season.

Sturridge is still a top PL striker

Daniel Sturridge reminded people that he is still one of the most clinical forwards in the Premier League. The 27-year-old was starting his first league game since October and slotted perfectly back into the starting XI. He has found his game time limited this season as Roberto Firmino and Divock Origi have been preferred in attack. However, he took his chance against Sunderland and was Liverpool’s greatest goal threat in the game. The England international scored the opening goal of the game with a well-placed header and he also had several long-range efforts saved by Vito Mannone in goal.

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Chelsea will take some catching

Liverpool dropped valuable points against a Sunderland side who are battling relegation this season and will find it difficult to catch Premier League leaders Chelsea. Klopp’s side should have ensured three points and put the pressure on table toppers Chelsea, but instead Antonio Conte’s side will go eight points clear if they beat Tottenham. The Merseyside club represent the greatest threat to Chelsea this season as they do not have to juggle a European competition, but have a mountain to climb now. Chelsea’s streak of 13 consecutive wins suggests they won’t be dropping many points this season and Liverpool can’t afford to slip up against teams lower down the league table.

In other Liverpool news, Gary Lineker posted a hilarious message about the club’s ace after the Man City win.