Huge response needed from frustrating Reds – Stoke City vs. Liverpool Preview

7 April 2017

Liverpool make the trip to the Britannia Stadium this weekend, as Jurgen Klopp‘s Reds take on an out-of-form Stoke City.


Stoke City vs. Liverpool

Saturday, April 8, 2017 – 3:00pm (BST)
Anfield
Premier League
Referee: Mike Dean

Oh Liverpool, why must you be so infuriating?

Having responded excellently to a poor run of form, winning three and drawing one against Arsenal, Burnley, Man City and Everton, they go and drop points against Bournemouth.

Wednesday’s 2-2 draw at Anfield left many angry at the final whistle, as the Reds once again came up short against a side they should be beating.

There is clearly some sort of psychological issue against teams of this ilk, and if it doesn’t go away over the next seven games, a top-four finish is unlikely.

On Saturday, Liverpool head to Stoke, knowing that all eyes will be on them as they look to prove they can dig deep and pick up three crucial points.

Klopp is without key players, and others are looking leggy—Roberto Firmino, in particular—but one final push is required to reach the promised land of the Champions League.

There is understandable trepidation going into the game, with many tipping Liverpool to once again drop points, and it is up to the manager and the players to prove the doubters wrong.

This isn’t the fabled, nightmare-inducing cold December night in Stoke, but regardless of that and the Potters’ poor form, trips to the Britannia are never easy.

The Reds’ “easy” run-in has not got off to a good start—another negative result this weekend would really see the vultures circling.

Last Meeting: Liverpool 4-1 Stoke City

 

Team News

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Monday, December 19, 2016: Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge in action against Everton during the FA Premier League match, the 227th Merseyside Derby, at Goodison Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Ahead of the trip to Stoke, Klopp confirmed that Sadio Mane‘s season was over, while both Jordan Henderson and Adam Lallana were yet to return to training.

Frustratingly, Philippe Coutinho is also a doubt, with the Brazilian yet to recover from the illness that forced him off the field midway through Wednesday’s draw with Bournemouth.

Daniel Sturridge is expected to return to the matchday squad, however, which is extremely welcome news.

The striker may well leave this summer, but an influential swansong would be just what the doctor ordered.

Joel Matip should return at centre-back, having not started against the Cherries in midweek, and Divock Origi will likely retain his place after some improved form.

Jon Walters and Xherdan Shaqiri are both slight doubts for Stoke, though could recover in time, but Jack Butland is still sidelined.

 

Britannia Stadium

STOKE-ON-TRENT, ENGLAND - Tuesday, January 5, 2016: A general view of Stoke City's Britannia Stadium before the Football League Cup Semi-Final 1st Leg match against Liverpool. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Capacity: 27,902

Away fans’ pub: The Terrace Inn

 

Form

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, April 5, 2017: Liverpool's Dejan Lovren looks dejected as AFC Bournemouth score the second equalising goal during the FA Premier League match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool – Last five results (all competitions)

Drew 2-2 vs. Bournemouth
Won 3-1 vs. Everton
Drew 1-1 vs. Man City
Won 2-1 vs. Burnley
Won 3-1 vs. Arsenal

Stoke – Last five results (all competitions)

Lost 1-0 vs. Burnley
Lost 2-0 vs. Leicester
Lost 2-1 vs. Chelsea
Drew 0-0 vs. Man City
Won 2-0 vs. Middlesbrough

 

Klopp’s View

Speaking ahead of the trip to the Britannia, Klopp conceded Stoke were “always difficult to play.”

“A good team, eh? Different performances obviously, not the best results but still really good. Always difficult to play.

“We made analysis, we don’t know about their lineup but the style of play is pretty clear. Most of the things are clear.

“I don’t think Stoke thinks about being under threat. They are one of two or three teams that don’t fight for one thing or another. They are in a comfortable situation.”

 

TV Info

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, March 8, 2015: A television camera blocks the view of the goal during the FA Cup 6th Round Quarter-Final match between Liverpool and Blackburn Rovers at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Due to it being a Saturday 3pm game, the match is not live on UK television, but our matchday live blog will be running from 2:15pm.

Ben Twelves will be on hand with lots of pre-match content and regular updates during the match. Three points are essential, Reds.

 

Betting — sponsored by 888Sport

Liverpool are usually 22/25 favourites to win this, but 888Sport are offering treble the odds on your first bet — click here!

The draw is priced at 27/10 and a Stoke victory at 16/5.

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