Liverpool may be unbeaten at home this season, but that doesn’t count for much, as the Reds have drawn 6 out of 10 league games at Anfield this season. Kenny Dalglish’s men will be looking to build on their Carling Cup 1st leg semi-final success over Manchester City with a win in the league to keep their Champions League hopes for next season alive. Stoke City, on the other hand will also look forward to build on their recent form, but have failed to defeat the Reds in 48 visits to Anfield.
As for the team news, Jay Spearing is likely to miss out having been taken off in the first half against Manchester City in the Carling Cup semi-final with a hamstring problem, while Jose Enrique is expected to make a return to the starting XI after being dropped to the bench against Oldham and Manchester City. Meanwhile for the Potters, Jonathan Woodgate, Marc Wilson and Ryan Shotton are all doubts for Tony Pulis’ side. However Andy Wilkinson could make a return after recovering from a knee injury.
The last time Liverpool met Stoke at Anfield, the Reds were 2-0 winners on the night with Raul Meireles scoring the opener before Luis Suarez came off the bench to score on his debut. Suarez was also the hero for Liverpool when these sides met at the Brittania earlier this season in the Carling Cup, when Luis Suarez struck twice to give the Reds a come from behind victory. However this time around, Liverpool will be without their number 7 who continues to serve his 8-match ban imposed by the FA.
Probable Starting XI’s:
Liverpool: Reina; Johnson, Skrtel, Agger, Enrique; Gerrard, Adam; Downing, Henderson, Maxi; Carroll.
Stoke: Sorensen; Wilkinson, Shawcross, Huth, Wilson; Shotton, Palacios, Whelan, Etherington; Walters, Crouch.
Liverpool 2-0 Stoke
Liverpool will be full of confidence after their 1-0 win over Manchester City in the Carling Cup on Wednesday night and with the return of Captain Fantastic, the Reds have enough firepower in their ranks to see this one through.
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