Liverpool will look to try and end November unbeaten, when they travel to the Bet365 Stadium to face Mark Hughes’ struggling Stoke City side tonight.
The Potters are coming off a narrow 2-1 loss against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park last week. Mark Hughes’s side are currently 15th on the Premier League table with 13 points to their name, a mere 3 points away from the relegation zone having won 3 games games the entire season.
Liverpool are coming off of a hard fought 1-1 draw against Chelsea at Anfield. The Reds are currently placed 6th in the table with 23 points, having won 6 games this season and are only 2 points away from a UEFA Champions League qualifying spot.
Team News & Tactics
Only Jack Butland and Geoff Cameron are expected to miss out for the Potters on Wednesday. For this tie, Mark Hughes is likely to retain their same 3-4-3 formation, with Lee Grant, Kevin Wimmer, Ryan Shawcross and Kurt Zouma all retaining their places in defence.
In midfield, all four players who started in their narrow loss to Crystal Palace last week – Erik Pieters, Darren Fletcher, Joe Allen and Mame Biram Diouf, are expected to start tonight. Up front, Jese could come in for Ramadan Sobhi on the left and join up with Eric Maxim Chuopo-Moting and Xherdan Shaqiri.
Probable Starting XI (3-4-3): Grant; Zouma, Shawcross, Wimmer; Diouf, Allen, Fletcher, Pieters; Shaqiri, Chuopo-Moting, Jese
Only Adam Bogan and Nathaniel Clyne are sidelined for this tie through injury. Jurgen Klopp will be able to welcome back Dejan Lovren and Emre Can back from injury, but it is unlikely that either of them will be thrust directly into first-team action.
Some changes can be expected to the lineup that started and drew against Chelsea last week, with Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino both expected to return to the starting XI. This will likely result in Daniel Sturridge and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain finding themselves on the bench again.
Philippe Coutinho should start in a deeper role once again. Jordan Henderson, Georginio Wijnaldum, Emre Can or James Milner are also options to fill up the remaining 2 midfield spots. In defence, Alberto Moreno, Ragnar Klavan, Joel Matip and Joe Gomez are expected to retain their places.
Probable Starting XI (4-3-3): Mignolet; Gomez, Matip, Klavan, Moreno; Wijnaldum, Henderson, Coutinho; Salah, Firmino, Mane
- Stoke City manager Mark Hughes has lost 11 of his last 16 matches agaist Liverpool, winning 2 and drawing 3.
- Stoke City have lost 7 of their last 8 Premier League games against Liverpool.
- Liverpool have won 4 out of their last 5 matches against Stoke City in all competitions.
- Xherdan Shaqiri has played a part in each of his side’s last 6 goals, assisting 4 and scoring 2.
- Daniel Sturridge has scored 4 goals and assisted 1 in his last 5 Premier League matches for Liverpool against Stoke City.
1. Stoke City Asian Handicap +1.0 @1.990
2. Both Teams to Score – YES @1.66
1. Stoke City Draw No Bet @4.00
Player To Watch
Liverpool: Mohamed Salah
The Egyptian maestro is Liverpool’s most in-form player this season. In a mere 20 appearances this season, he has played a part in 19 goals, scoring 15 and assisting 4. So far, he’s looked like an absolute bargain for the rumoured £42 million fee that the Reds acquired him for in the summer.
Salah is just coming off scoring against his former side and will be high on confidence, given his form. With Mane and Firmino expected to return to the starting XI tonight and given Stoke’s terrible defensive form this season, the former Roma man will certainly have his fair share of chances to add to his already impressive goal-tally this season.
Stoke City 1-2 Liverpool
On paper, Liverpool look the far more dangerous side. They also have a personnel returning from injury and that should give them an edge. The Bet365 Stadium isn’t an easy place to come to in a night game, but we predict that Jurgen Klopp’s side will overcome the hosts’ challenge and return to Anfield with all three points, albeit after a hard fought victory.