Competition: Premier League – Liverpool vs Stoke City
Venue: Anfield – Tuesday, December 27 – 17:15 GMT (12:15 ET)
Match Odds: Liverpool 2/7 – Draw 9/2 – Stoke 9/1
The Reds come into the game in high spirits after a dramatic Merseyside Derby win last Monday and can keep the pressure on league leaders Chelsea with a victory here.
Jurgen Klopp’s men have not lost at home this season and have been finding the net with ease more often than not in front of their own fans.
Liverpool host Manchester City on New Year’s Eve in what is a huge fixture, so they’ll be desperate to take three more points into that crunch tie.
Stoke aren’t expected to offer much of a test and they’ll be deflated given the way they let a two-goal lead slip at home to ten-man Leicester last weekend.
The Potters have been inconsistent all season and have never won a Premier League game at Anfield. In fact, the last time Stoke won a league match at Liverpool was in 1959, so they aren’t expected to leave with three points here.
Liverpool have won four of their last five meetings with Stoke, with the sole defeat in that time coming in that shock 6-1 loss on the final day of the 2014/15 season.
Liverpool remain without Philippe Coutinho, although the Brazilian playmaker is expected to be back in time for the New Year’s Eve clash with Manchester City. Joel Matip remains a doubt, so Ragnar Klavan may continue at the back, while Daniel Sturridge will be pushing for a start after making a good impact off the bench in the Merseyside Derby.
Stoke have a host of first-team players out of this one. Marko Arnautovic is suspended, while Ibrahim Afellay, Jack Butland, Geoff Cameron, Phil Bardsley and Stephen Ireland are all ruled out. Xherdan Shaqiri was benched for the draw against Leicester but may return to the starting lineup here.
Liverpool’s last five: W/L/D/W/W
Stoke’s last five: W/W/L/D/D
Key Stat: Liverpool are unbeaten in their last 15 home games in the Premier League – the longest active streak in the top flight.
Key Player: Sadio Mane – The Senegalese winger has probably been Liverpool’s best player this season. He’s the top scorer with eight in the Premier League and will look to continue his fine record at Anfield, having contributed to eight goals in seven home league games since joining the club.
Liverpool 2-0 Stoke – Liverpool have responded well since their shock defeat at Bournemouth, keeping back-to-back clean sheets since Simon Mignolet earned his place back in goal. The Reds are expected to get past Stoke without too much difficulty here, and can keep the pressure on Chelsea with another three points.