Premier League 2014/15 Season Review: Stoke City

Premier League Final Position: 9th 

Review

Stoke City equalled their highest ever Premier League position of 9th, beating last seasons points tally of 50, with 54. Mark Hughes has been transforming Stoke from a long-ball side to a ball playing side and this season has been very respectable. They have been very difficult to play against at the Britannia and have beaten; Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur, Southampton, Everton and Arsenal at home. Impressively, they won away at Manchester City and did the double over Spurs.

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Podcast Review

Best Moment

Beating Liverpool 6-1 on the final day – what an achievement this was for Stoke. To be leading at 5-0 was quite possibly the most surprising moment of the Premier League season. It showed how they have the ability to exploit a side on the back-foot and was a great way to cap off a good season.

Worst Moment

Losing 2-1 to Burnley at home. This was a disappointing result for Mark Hughes, conceding two goals in as many minutes isn’t just poor defending but it also shows a lack of concentration.

Player of the Year

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Charlie Adam – the Scottish midfielder enjoyed another good campaign, scoring seven goals and registering one assist. He played a pivotal role in the midfield and showed his ability to provide the unthinkable with his wonder goal against Chelsea.

Biggest Win 

Stoke City 6-1 Liverpool (May 24, 2015)

Biggest Defeat

Arsenal 3-0 Stoke City (Jan 11, 2015)
Stoke City 1-4 Manchester City (Feb 11, 2015)

What to improve for the 2015 season…

Stoke need to start avoiding defeats to sides lower in the table if they are to improve on 54 points. Coming 9th is a great achievement and any improvement on that will be another great season.

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Premier League Preview and Prediction: Stoke vs Liverpool

Competition: Major League Soccer – Stoke City vs. Liverpool FC

Venue: Britannia Stadium – Sunday, May 24 – 15:00 BST (10:00 ET)

Match Odds: Stoke 9/4 – Draw 13/5 – Liverpool 11/10

Match Preview

Stoke welcome Liverpool to the Britannia in the final Premier League game of the season for two clubs that have very little to play for on the last day.

Stoke have secured a top half finish and can’t finish any higher or lower than ninth so there is no pressure on them, other than to end the campaign on a high in front of their own fans.

While Liverpool know they can’t finish lower than seventh, though that is highly unlikely and so a place in next season’s Europa League looks to be guaranteed.

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The Reds will be disappointed not to have qualified for the Champions League again but Brendan Rodgers has to try and ensure his players end the season with a positive result, especially after they lost their final home game 3-1 to Crystal Palace last weekend.

The Raheem Sterling situation is not making things easy for the Liverpool manager and so he will be looking forward to watching his side play a game for the last time this season.

Though it won’t be an easy one for the Reds as Stoke have gone unbeaten through their last three at the Britannia.

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They beat Spurs 3-0 in their last home game, and then drew 0-0 at Burnley last week, so they are in good form going into this one.

The reverse fixture this season ended 1-0 to Liverpool at Anfield, while last year’s game at Stoke ended 5-3 to the Reds in a thriller.

Team News

Stoke are without Bojan and Victor Moses. Jack Butland should keep his place in goal as Mark Hughes could name an unchanged side.

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Liverpool are without Daniel Sturridge and Jon Flanagan, while Mamadou Sakho remains a doubt. Sterling should play but may sit out as controversy off the field continues to surround the youngster, who could have played his last game for the club. Steven Gerrard will start in his final game for the Reds.

Key Points

Stoke’s last five: W/D/L/W/D

Liverpool’s last five: D/L/W/D/L

Key Stat: There have been 15 goals in the last three matches at the Britannia between these two in all competitions, an average of five goals per game.

Key Player: Charlie Adam – The Scottish midfielder scored in this game last season and has three goals in his last five.

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Score Prediction

Stoke 2-2 Liverpool – There should be goals here on the final day of the season but the points may be shared in a close game. Stoke are strong at home and should end the season with a positive result against a Liverpool side that will be hoping next season will be a lot better.