The fixture will give Jordan Henderson an immediate opportunity to do battle with his former employers.
After facing the Black Cats, the Reds then face Arsenal at the Emirates with the first month of the season completed when Bolton make the short trip to Anfield on August 27.
The first Merseyside derby of the season comes on October 1 as Liverpool travel to Goodison Park, while the reverse fixture at Anfield is on February 25.
Anfield will be white hot for the visit of bitter rivals Manchester United on October 15, with a trip to Old Trafford booked in for February 11.
Over the festive period another derby ensues on Merseyside as Blackburn make the short trip to Anfield on Boxing Day. On New Year's Eve they are at home again as Newcastle are the visitors.
Liverpool conclude their campaign with a long trip to Premier League new boys Swansea City on May 13.
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard told the club's website: "It's a massive test early on. It's nice to have a home game first.
"Hopefully we will have a few new signings in and we can start the season with three points which would give us the confidence to then go and get a good result at Arsenal. That is a difficult place to go and we haven't won there for a while.
"It's important to hit the ground running if you want to compete for the title. You can't afford any slip-ups early on.
"It's a tough first two games but I'm really looking forward to them and I think we can get two positive results."