Match Preview: Liverpool v Stoke City

Premier League
Saturday 17 August 2013 - 12:45 pm
0Stoke City
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⚽️ Sturridge37'
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The Premier League season kicks off this weekend as Liverpool welcome Stoke City.

Both sides have an early opportunity to go top of the league, albeit for a couple of hours at least, as the game has been brought forward to 12:45pm.

Brendan Rodgers starts his second season in charge of Liverpool, while the Potters have a new man in the hot-seat - Mark Hughes.

LFC v Stoke City Preview

Liverpool lost the opening Premier League game of last season when they were comprehensively beaten 3-0 by West Brom away.  It wasn't until the 6th game of the season that the reds finally won in the Premier League, having suffered 3 defeats in the opening 5 games.

Liverpool's recent opening day record is poor.  In the last 10 years, the reds have registered only 2 opening day wins, both under Rafa Benitez, in 2007 and 2008.

Team News

Liverpool's pre-season off the pitch has been dogged by a certain Uruguayan striker - but he is unavailable - not just due to his current temperament, but the continuation of his ban for sinking his teeth into Branislav Ivanovic last season.

Daniel Sturridge has only recently returned to match action following his injury early in the summer, and he played 45 minutes of last week's game against Celtic.  He did take part in a behind closed doors friendly earlier this week at Melwood.  Aspas and Coutinho are set to be part of the marauding front three, with either Sturridge or Sterling filling the third slot.

Rodgers has preferred the Lucas/Gerrard/Allen partnership in the centre of the park in pre-season - edging Henderson on to the bench.

At the back, Daniel Agger could return after an injury sustained a fortnight ago to partner Kolo Toure in central defence.  Simon Mignolet will also make his competitive debut for the club.

Last season the reds only managed a point against Stoke, with a 0-0 draw at home, during what was a disappointing opening couple of months for the club.  The last time these two clubs met, on Boxing Day, Liverpool were beaten 3-1.

The Opposition

Stoke have had a quiet summer on the transfer front, only bringing in a new left back and a young defender from Barcelona's reserves.  Players Rory Delap and Matthew Upson have been released by the club.

The lack of major changes suggest that their style of play will not be changing much.  Peter Crouch, Kenwyne Jones, Cameron Jerome and Jon Walters still remain as the figureheads of the Stoke attack - physical presence and power up front remains their main danger.  Kolo Toure and Daniel Agger are set for a bruising day.

Stoke took part in a USA tour earlier this summer, losing once but picking up two victories over MLS clubs.

After an away victory at Wrexham they completed their pre-season with a goalless draw at the Britannia against Genoa.


Liverpool are favourites at 4/11. A Stoke victory is currently at 8/1.

Iago Aspas to score first and the reds to win 2-0 is 16/1.

Stoke leading at half time, but Liverpool running out winners is 20/1.

The reds are currently 28/1 to win the Premier League. Contract issues, and his ongoing ban mean Luis Suarez is at 18/1 to finish top scorer, Daniel Sturridge is at 20/1.


Anfield Online Prediction

Always the optimists, but let's not go mad.

1-0 to Liverpool

One comment on
Match Preview: Liverpool v Stoke City

  1. I Prefer Hendo, but Allen is teachers pet..and I’d like to see a fit kelly at RB, and Glen on the other side instead on enrique, I feel our defence needs it especially if Allen is playing in midfield, and an Agger/Skrtel partnership worked well for much of the previous seasons, Martin was “dumped” too quick by BR.. , Hope Coutinho does well, he will be targeted this season, after his suprisingly quick success since January.. so he will need to overcome a physical “welcome back” to the EPL, this season

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