Premier League Preview and Prediction: Stoke vs Liverpool

Competition: Premier League – Stoke City vs. Liverpool

Venue: Britannia Stadium – Sunday, August 9 – 16:00 BST (11:00 ET)

Match Odds: Stoke 12/5 – Draw 12/5 – Liverpool 6/5

Match Preview

Stoke host Liverpool on Sunday afternoon in their 2015/16 Premier League season opener in what will be a repeat of their final game of the 2014/15 season, in which Stoke stunned Liverpool 6-1 at the Britannia.

That game ensured the Reds ended a disappointing season in disastrous fashion, while the Potters went into the summer in high spirits after a promising campaign.

Mark Hughes has had another impressive summer as far as transfer dealings are concerned and Stoke look to have strengthened, even with the loss of goalkeeper Asmir Begovic to Chelsea.

They will be looking to start the year with another win against Liverpool as they look to improve on last season’s ninth placed finish and perhaps bring European football back to the Britannia.

Embed from Getty Images

A far from impressive preseason campaign saw the Potters win just two of six games, losing their last three games on the bounce coming into the season opener.

On the other hand, Liverpool come into the new year in excellent form, having not lost any of their six preseason matches.

Brendan Rodgers is under pressure to turn things around at Anfield after a disappointing season last time out, but the losses of Steven Gerrard and Raheem Sterling could make that a tougher task than it seems.

Embed from Getty Images

Plenty of new signings have arrived and the test will be getting them to gel quickly as they look to break back into the top four after their sixth-placed finish last season.

Team News

Stoke will still be without Bojan, although the playmaker is back in training after missing the final five months of last season. Ryan Shawcross is also ruled out, while Marc Wilson and Marko Arnautovic are doubts. Glen Johnson, who joined on a free from Liverpool this summer, could make his debut at right-back.

Embed from Getty Images

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has three injury concerns as Jon Flanagan and Daniel Sturridge are ruled out, while Joe Allen is doubtful. New signings Joe Gomez, Nathaniel Clyne, James Milner and Christian Benteke are all set to start for the Reds in what will be a new-look side. Roberto Firmino may have to settle for a place on the bench as he is not believed to be fit enough to start.

Key Points

Stoke’s preseason form: L/W/W/L/L/L

Liverpool’s preseason form: W/W/W/D/W/W

Key Stat: There have been 16 goals in the last three games between the two sides – an average of 5.3 per game.

Key Player: Christian Benteke – Liverpool’s £32.5 million summer arrival will look to start life as a Red with a goal on the way to helping his new side to three points.

Embed from Getty Images

Score Prediction

Stoke City 2-2 Liverpool – Expecting another open, entertaining game at the Britannia between two sides looking to start the new season with three points. Stoke will be looking to follow up their end of season result with another victory but Liverpool should be out to impress and their new signings should earn them at least a point in this one.

Advertisements

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.

Embed from Getty Images

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.

Embed from Getty Images

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.

Embed from Getty Images

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.

Embed from Getty Images

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.