Current aggregate: LIV 1 Stoke 0
Liverpool form (past five League games): WLDLW
Stoke form (past five League games): WLWDL
View from the Liverpool side:
Liverpool will enter the game fresh from their dramatic win over Norwich and with a slender 1-0 lead thanks to Ibe’s smart finish in the first leg.
The Reds remain without key defender Martin Skrtel and not to mention Joe Gomez who remains sidelined until the end of the season, while Nathaniel Clyne is a doubt after sustaining a knock in the dramatic win over Norwich. Creative linchpin Philippe Coutinho is set to sit out the game alongside injury ravaged Daniel Sturridge and youngster Divock Origi. On a more positive note, Dejan Lovren could be set for a return to first team action with Caulker unavailable for the tie and John Flanagan could too be thrown into the mix after finally making his return from his long injury layoff.
View from the Stoke side:
Stoke on the other hand will begin on the back foot needing to score to draw level on aggregate and the Potters will be looking for a quick response after coming off the weekend with a humbling 3-0 loss at high-flying Leicester.
Stoke have captain Ryan Shawcross ruled out for the clash with manager Mark Hughes just confirming that the Stoke City captain is facing around a month on the sidelines after suffering a back injury duringSaturday’s defeat to Leicester City. Influential forward Marko Arnautovic is set for a return alongside Bojan who was dropped to the bench in the loss at Leicester.
Several facts ahead of the tie:
– If Stoke progress, they will be appearing in the final for the first time since 1972
– Liverpool have only won one trophy since 2006 and that trophy was the League Cup in 2012 under Kenny Dalglish
Last four meetings between the two sides:
PL: Liverpool 1 Stoke 0
PL: Stoke 6 Liverpool 1
PL: Stoke 0 Liverpool 1
League Cup First leg: Stoke 0 Liverpool 1