Liverpool host Stoke City at Anfield today, looking for a win that would keep them in control of a top-four finish this season.
Top Four Requirements
Liverpool require a maximum of 5 points from their remaining 3 games to guarantee Champions League football again next season.
The Reds are 8 points clear of 5th placed Chelsea (who have a game in hand) with the Reds having a far superior goal difference (+43 compared to +25) and with the teams due to meet at Stamford Bridge next weekend.
Last season in this fixture at Anfield Liverpool won 4-1 at Anfield with Adam Lallana, Roberto Firmino and Daniel Sturridge amongst the scorers – the other an own goal. Sturridge had only been on the pitch for 56 seconds.
The Reds’ win at the bet365 Stadium back in November saw them record a third successive league victory in the Potteries for the first time.
Liverpool have never lost to Stoke on this ground in the top-flight, winning 43 and drawing 11 of the 54 games played at Anfield.
City did, however, win here in the League Cup in 2016. The 1-0 success took the Semi-Final to a penalty shoot-out with Joe Allen (now with Stoke) scoring the decisive spot kick for the Reds.
Salah hunting more records
In the reverse fixture at Stoke in November Mo Salah became the ninth Reds player in history to come off the bench and score more than once in a league game.
Salah could equal yet another club record today. Only 2 Reds players have found the net in 8 successive Anfield league games – Roger Hunt in 1961-62 and Fernando Torres in 2007-08. Salah has found the net in the last 7. He has not failed to find the net in the Premier League at home since Boxing Day against Swansea.
And the Egyptian requires one more goal this season to become Liverpool’s record scorer in a single Premier League campaign – beating the record of 31 currently set by Luis Suarez in 2013-14.
Should Salah register 3 goals in his remaining 3 games he will equal the Premier League record for most goals in a season (34) held by Andy Cole (Newcastle 1993-94) and Alan Shearer (Blackburn 1994-95).
Against Roma in midweek Liverpool scored 4 or more goals for the 13th time this season. That has only been bettered once before in the club’s history. In 1895-96 they did so 16 times.
In that game Mo Salah set a new club record by scoring in a 33rd different game this season, eclipsing Ian Rush’s previous tally of 32 in 1983-84.
Liverpool are undefeated in 17 home league games this season (11 wins and 6 draws) and in the last 19 in the top-flight since losing to Crystal Palace.
The Reds have kept 3 successive league clean sheets at home. The last time they kept 4 in succession at Anfield in the same league season December 2009 – February 2010.
Stoke have picked up 4 points from the last 32 visits to Anfield. All of them were 0-0 draws – Boxing Day 1970, September 2008, January 2012 and October of the same year.
* Stats thanks as ever to LFC statistician Ged Rea.