Liverpool v Stoke Preview

Stoke Look to Take Vital Points at Anfield

A draw against Swansea has put Stoke in a position where they need a win.

Liverpool, coming off of two successive draws against the likes of Tottenham and Borussia Dortmund, are looking to keep the momentum going forward as they are fighting for a Europa League spot. Stoke on the other hand, are needing a positive result after blowing a 2-0 lead to Swansea to only taking a point out of that match. This match will be key in seeing which club can stay in the battle for a European spot.

Both Stoke and Liverpool, eighth and ninth in the table respectively, go into the fixture in fairly decent league form. Hughes’ men having lost only one of their last seven top-flight matches and Jurgen Klopp’s Reds just one of their last six. However, Liverpool have played two less games than Stoke this season.

The last time these two teams played, it was contested at Anfield in the Capital One Cup where Stoke got the goal they needed through Marko Arnautovic. The match went onto penalties where Stoke lost 6-5. In the league, Liverpool won on match-week one with a moment of brilliance from the Brazilian Philippe Coutinho.

Hughes doesn’t believe that Liverpool playing a game just this past Thursday will impact the team greatly. “Possibly the fact that they have played in Germany on Thursday may affect them, but usually it is when you play in Europe and then come back home and travel to play away from home. I think that has a greater impact. Given the resources of the club though I wouldn’t have thought that the game on Thursday will have too much of an impact on the game this weekend.”

Klopp wants his players fully prepared for battle against Stoke, saying he will look to have a full squad and he hopes to get a few back from injury. “ “We have no time for resting, that’s the situation. Of course, we have to think about a few changes, that’s how it is. We have a few opportunities to change. It’s not about resting one or the other player, it’s about having best line-up for Stoke.”

For Stoke, they look to get their first league win at Anfield since 1959. Hughes hopes history will repeat itself; As in 1959, when the Potters last won, the Grand National at Aintree is the night before just as it is this time around.

Liverpool has seen Divock Origi take the starting striker role from Daniel Sturridge and it looks like he will retain it after a goal against Borussia Dortmund. Jordan Henderson is a concern as he was forced to come off with an injury in the Dortmund match. But they do have Roberto Firmino back as he came on as a sub in the Dortmund match.

Stoke have captain Ryan Shawcross and Xherdan Shaqiri back available for Sunday’s contest, but Glenn Whelan and Marko Arnautovic are doubts with injuries they picked up in the game against Swansea. Goalkeeper Jakob Haugaard, who made his Premier League debut in that contest, looks set to remain in the first XI.

Prediction: 1-1

Written by Spencer Brown

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