Liverpool return to the site of one of the most embarrassing afternoon’s in our club’s history today, as we travel to take on Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium.
It’s not a venue that holds many happy memories for those members of the Liverpool squad which have been retained from last season, with Stoke having thrashed us 6-1 on the final day of a thoroughly disappointing campaign.
Thankfully, a renewed sense of optimism has been sweeping around Merseyside this summer, following the arrival of seven new signings, a new coaching set-up, and a positive pre-season – meaning today’s game should give us a good indication of how far we’ve come over the last two-and-a-half months.
Adam Lallana, along with many of his teammates, is likely to be craving revenge this afternoon, as we look to get our new season off to the perfect start. With Chelsea and Tottenham having both dropped points on Saturday, this is the perfect opportunity for us to make a huge statement about our top four ambitions.
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In quotes taken by the Daily Mirror ahead of the game, the England international admitted just how important this game is likely to prove to be, while he also recounted the bad memories that he’ll be looking to banish.
“It was a strange trip,” he said of the end-of-season journey the squad made to Dubai, just hours after the Stoke fixture. “Not what you would call a normal holiday. It was for Stevie. I’m sure that if it had been a normal holiday we wouldn’t have gone out to Dubai because we knew we had let down ourselves and the football club.
“I’m sure Stevie felt the same. It was a football match that we wanted to win and we lost – and lost comfortably. He (Gerrard) was the first one to admit it was a long goodbye for him, but I wouldn’t say it overshadowed the last few weeks of the season.
“If anything it was difficult for him to keep training and playing because there were so many different things going on. We can’t use that as an excuse for our performances at the end of the year – or that defeat at Stoke.
“Luckily we’ve got a good chance to put it right in the first game of the season. It’s a good fixture for us to start off with. What happened last season is still fresh in our minds and we want to put it right. There’s no better way to get a bit of revenge.”