Liverpool Vs Stoke City
Aug 17, 2013 at 12.45pm (UK)
When Liverpool play Stoke City in the season opener on Saturday, they would certainly want to start a new era under Rodgers that does not end in frustration like last season. They have added four new players to the team and at least three of them are expected to feature in Saturday’s match. With Downing now gone, Iago Aspas looks set to make the left flank his own while Mignolet being the number one choice of the manager in the goal. Injury owes to both Daniel Agger and Martin Skrtel should provide Kolo Toure the chance to play although Agger may just make it to the starting berth.
Luis Suarez is certainly unavailable, as he serves the 10 match ban slapped on him for biting Chelsea defender Ivanovic last season. Daniel Sturridge has proved his fitness in the last two friendlies against Celtic and Newcastle and should get into the starting eleven. His form his vital for the club’s progress at the moment with Suarez not there in the scene.
Stoke City, on the other hand, are playing under Mark Hughes this season after parting relations with Tony Pulis. The other members to have left the squad are Rory Delap, Matthew Upson and Dean Whitehead and the new players are Juan Agudelo, Marc Muniesa and Erik Pieters. Stoke has only one player injured in the squad with Brek Shea being out of action. It is beyond doubt that Hughes would be asking an inspired performance from Stoke, which would make his job a lot easier.
Liverpool face Stoke and Villa up first before they travel to Old Trafford on September 1st and 6 points from the first two games would definitely be a confidence booster for Rodgers’ men before they battle it out with United. A fresh season and a fresh challenge lies ahead of the Reds as the start the campaign after a busy summer in a hope to regain their Champions League status.
Liverpool: Mignolet; Johnson, Toure, Agger, Enrique; Gerrard, Lucas, Allen; Coutinho, Sturridge, Aspas
Stoke City: Begovic; Wilkinson, Shawcross, Huth, Pieters; Pennant, Adam, Muniesa; Jerome, Crouch, Jones
- Liverpool have secured only two points and scored just one goal in their last four Barclays Premier League meetings with Stoke City (D2 L2).
- The Potters have lost only two of their 10 Barclays Premier League meetings with Liverpool (W3 D5).
- However, Stoke have never scored a Premier League goal at Anfield, despite playing there five times.
- Three of the previous five Premier League games between these two sides at Anfield have ended 0-0.
- Liverpool are without a win in the last four on the opening day of the season, drawing two home games 1-1 and losing twice away.
- Stoke scored just 34 goals in 2012/13, a haul superior only to relegated QPR (30).
- The Potters also mustered a league-low of just 114 shots on target last season.
- Liverpool won four and lost none of their five league games without Luis Suarez playing in 2012/13.
Prediction: Liverpool 2-0 Stoke