The change is just one from manager Jurgen Klopp as he looks to close the gap on league leaders Chelsea to just three points.
Sturridge - making his first start since October - comes in as Jordan Henderson misses out with a heel injury picked up in the victory over Manchester City on New Year's Eve.
For the hosting Black Cats, David Moyes makes three changes to the side that were defeated 4-1 at Burnley last time out.
Sunderland: Mannone; Love, Djilobodji, O'Shea, Van Aanholt; Larsson, Ndong, Rodwell, Januzaj, Borini; Defoe
Subs: Mika, Khazri, Manquillo, Honeyman, Maja, Embleton, Ledger
Liverpool: Mignolet; Clyne, Lovren, Klavan, Milner; Can, Wijnaldum, Lallana; Mane, Firmino, Sturridge
Subs: Karius, Moreno, Lucas, Origi, Stewart, Alexander-Arnold, Ejaria
Keep up with all of the action from the Stadium of Light this afternoon with Sports Mole's live text commentary here.