Mark Hughes’ side make the short distance trip post-Christmas to Liverpool hoping to make amends for last Saturday’s disappointing draw against Leicester.
Liverpool vs Stoke City
Date: Tuesday 27th December 2016
Venue: Anfield, Liverpool
Competition: Premier League
Last time they met: Liverpool 4-1 Stoke
Latest betting odds (bet365):
Our prediction: Stoke City not to lose (Double Chance): 3/1
Long-shot: Stoke City to win, and over 3.5 goals to be scored – 40/1
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Stoke travel to a Liverpool side buoyed with confidence after a last-minute-winner from Sadio Mane in the Merseyside derby on Monday night. The Reds currently sit second in the table, and will see Tuesday’s game as a must-win ahead of a tough month without the aforementioned Mane as he departs for the AFCON.
Liverpool have only lost one in their last 19 games in all competitions, and travel to Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City on New-Year’s-eve in a huge game at the top of the table.
Tuesday promises goals between the pair, as 22 goals have been scored in the last five PL meetings between the pair.
Jurgen Klopp is expected to name an unchanged team from the Merseyside derby, as Mignolet and Klavan have impressed since their re-introduction to the starting XI.
Adam Lallana will be looking to continue his sublime form of-late, and will look to expose a particularly frail-at-times, Stoke City midfield.
Divock Origi will need no reminder of Tuesday’s opponents, as the Belgian netted twice in this fixture back in April.
Predicted Liverpool XI:
Mignolet, Clyne, Klavan, Lovren, Milner; Henderson, Can, Lallana; Mane, Firmino, Origi.
Ah… where to start? At 3.45pm last Saturday I wouldn’t have thought I’d be writing about Stoke in such a disappointing mood.
After throwing away a two-goal-lead against ten-men Leicester at home, Stoke travel to Liverpool in the first of two horrific away games over the festive period looking for a win to really kick-start what’s been the most bizarre season following The Potters since I can remember.
Mark Hughes confirmed that Phil Bardsley and Geoff Cameron are both missing for Stoke, but there was at least some positive news, as the Welshman stated that Ibrahim Afellay is back with the squad after suffering cruciate ligament damage in April.
Joe Allen will be hoping to down his former side on Tuesday, as the Welsh international returns to a club where he made 91 appearances at. Allen, 26, has already broken his scoring records at having netted five times so far in the Premier League this season.
Peter Crouch will also be hoping he’s given the nod tomorrow as Stoke’s strikers have yet again failed to deliver when asked this season. The 35-year-old hasn’t scored for Stoke in his last 20 appearances in the Premier League, but with Liverpool’s notoriously fragile defence, Hughes may feel Tuesday’s the right time to throw in the ex-England international.
Hughes is set to be without Marko Arnautovic, as the Austrian is only one game in to a three-match-ban after his red card against Southampton, and that could give Hughes a headache with selection on the left.
Predicted Stoke City XI:
Grant; Johnson, Shawcross, Martins Indi; Diouf, Imbula, Whelan, Pieters; Allen, Shaqiri, Crouch.