Liverpool host Stoke City in the matchday 33 of the English Premier League as both teams look to retain their outside chance of qualifying for Europa League next season.
The 9th placed Liverpool have 45 points from 30 matches, 2 points less than the 8th placed Stoke, who have played 2 games more their Sunday’s opponents. Both teams are coming on the back of some good results in the league and are well poised to finish the season strongly.
Liverpool have won in 3, draws 1 and lost 1 out of their last 6 Premier League games. However, they have failed to win in their last two matches after losing away to Southampton 3-2 and drawing against 1-1 at home against a tough Tottenham side. The Reds have scored an incredible 14 goals in their last 5 league games.
The home form of Liverpool is pretty moderate as they have drawn 3 out of their last 5 games, with a win and a loss. At the same time, four of those five matches were against Arsenal, Manchester United, Manchester City and Tottenham.
Stoke City have won 2, drawn 1 and lost 1 from their last 5 matches. And they have lost only once during their last 7 league games, with 4 of those ending in wins.
Away from home, Stoke City are undefeated in the last three, with 2 wins and draw. Prior to that they had lost three in a row. The Potters conceded a goal each in their last three away games.
Liverpool: Team News
Liverpool are dealt another blow as their captain Jordan Henderson is ruled out for the rest of the season with a knee injury. Emre Can is suspended for the next two matches and Lucas Leiva is injured and as a reason Klopp may opt for the pairing of James Milner and Allen in the midfield.
Christian Benteke remains sidelined while Firmino is certified fit enough to start. Sturridge is likely to start in place of Origi after coming off as a substitute in the European clash against Dortmund in the midweek.
Liverpool: Expected Starting Eleven (4-2-3-1)
Mignolet – Lovren, Sakho, Moreno, Clyne – Milner, Allen – Lallana, Coutinho, Firmino – Sturridge.
Stoke City: Team News
Jakob Haugaard is expected to get another start in goal following the injury to Jack Butland, while Glen Johnson, Marc Wilson and Jonathan Walters are all injured and will miss the trip to Liverpool.
Xherdan Shaqiri, Ryan Shawcross and Geoff Cameron are all struggling for fitness, but will be closely monitored towards the closing stages before kick-off.
Stoke City: Expected Starting Eleven (4-2-3-1)
Haugaard – Pieters, Wollscheid, Cameron, Bardsley – Whelan, Imbula – Arnautovic, Afellay, Bojan – Diouf.
Liverpool vs Stoke City: Head-to-Head Stats
Liverpool and Stoke City met in the opening day of this season’s Premier League and the Reds needed a wonder strike from Coutinho in the closing stages to grab a narrow 1-0 victory. The teams had then met two more times this season, in the Capital One Cup, which Liverpool win on penalties after both legs end in 1-0 win for either sides.
Liverpool are on a five match winning streak against Stoke City in the Premier League.
Stoke City have never won at Liverpool in 48 matches in all competitions.
Liverpool vs Stoke City: Prediction
Liverpool will have their one eye on the Europa League second leg clash against Dortmund in 4 days’ time. And winning the championship is their best chance of European football next season. Stoke on the other side has been brilliant in the last few matches, but they have an extremely poor record at Liverpool and this is likely to continue.
A draw won’t be a bad result for either side as Liverpool look to preserve energy for mid-week’s clash and Stoke will be happy to stay above Liverpool as for now.