26th of December 2016 Author: Johnny Karp
Liverpool can climb back to second place if they manage to beat Stoke City at Anfield Road on Tuesday. Last season Liverpool won both league meetings against the Potters, 1-0 in Stoke and 4-1 in Liverpool, but Stoke City produced the upset in the League Cup semi-finals, they prevailed on penalties after a 1-0 loss at home and a 1-0 win away. Liverpool have won five of the last six league meetings between the two sides.
Liverpool are looking to extend a two-game winning streak, a run which includes the 1-0 Merseyside Derby victory over Everton. They have to win if they want to keep the title chase alive, as leaders Chelsea are nine points away. Philippe Coutinho is still unavailable but he should be able to make his return in the big match against Manchester City on New Year's Eve. Joel Matip might also miss out, while Daniel Sturridge could be in line for a place in the starting eleven after a good substitute appearance against Everton.
Stoke have not won in three matches, but they haven't lost any of the last two games either. Those two draws were both at home though, a goalless stalemate against Southampton and a spectacular 2-2 against reigning champions Leicester City. Marko Arnautovic is still suspended, this will be the second of his three-match ban, while Ibrahim Afellay, Jack Butland, Geoff Cameron, Phil Bardsley and Stephen Ireland are all unavailable through injury.
Liverpool: Mignolet - Clyne, Lovren, Klavan, Milner - Lallana, Henderson, Wijnaldum - Mane, Sturridge, Firmino
Stoke: Grant - Johnson, Shawcross, Indi, Pieters - Imbula, Whelan - Shaqiri, Allen, Bojan - Walters
My prediction: Liverpool to win 3-1.
Here are the odds for the match at Bet365:
Liverpool win - 1.30
Draw - 6.00
Stoke win - 11.00
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