Liverpool face a tough test when they visit Stoke at the bet365 stadium on Saturday night
Liverpool cannot settle for anything but a win in this match after their disappointing 2-2 draw with Bournemouth in midweek, as they are in real risk of losing out on a tightly contested top 4 position should they drop more points.
The Reds are just two points ahead of Manchester City, who have a game in hand, and 6 points ahead of both Arsenal and Manchester United, who have both played two games fewer than Jurgen Klopp’s side.
Liverpool have been hit by several crucial injuries at the wrong time. Adam Lallana, Sadio Mane and Jordan Henderson will definitely miss out on the trip to Stoke and speaking before the match, Jurgen Klopp confirmed that Philippe Coutinho would face a late fitness test to evaluate whether or not he would play a part against the Potters.
“Phil is still ill and was not at Melwood yesterday and he will not be here today. He had a conversation with the doc and he feels much better, but it doesn’t look too good. We will have to see if we [can] bring him in tomorrow.”
“Stoke is not too far away so we will give him all the time he needs, but it will be really close. Hendo is also in a good way but we don’t know exactly when he can be part of training again.Daniel is part of training, yesterday and today, and we will see. But no major issues.”
Stoke City could be handed a big boost with the return of Xherdan Shaqiri, who could return to the Stoke starting line-up for the first time since January when the Potters face Liverpool on Saturday.
Shaqiri has been battling calf problems but could feature and will face a late fitness test to see if he is fit, while Jonathan Walters will probably return after missing the midweek loss at Burnley due to concussion. Marc Muniesa and Mame Diouf have also recovered from minor knee complaints.