26th of April 2018 Author: Johnny Karp
Champions League sensation Liverpool will try to get back with their feet on the ground on Saturday when they host Premier League relegation candidates Stoke City at Anfield Road. The Reds won the reverse fixture 3-0 in November, with two goals from Mohamed Salah and another from Sadio Mane. Liverpool have won the last five Premier League matches against Stoke City, but the Potters still remember the last time they defeated Liverpool because it was a 6-1 home victory in 2015.
Liverpool are flying high in the Champions League, they defeated AS Roma 5-2 on Tuesday in the first leg of the semi-final and are strong favourites to advance to the final in Kiev. However, the second leg is still riddled with danger because Roma are very strong at home. And since that second leg is scheduled for next Wednesday, manager Jurgen Klopp might choose to give some of his first-team regulars a rest on Saturday considering that Liverpool's place in the Premier League top four is almost secure. Mohamed Salah is still chasing some more scoring records but he will most likely be rested, while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will miss the remainder of the season due to a knee injury. Emre Can, Joel Matip and Adam Lallana are also injured.
Stoke City don't have many alternatives left if they want to survive in the Premier League, they have three matches to play and they have to win at least two of them if not all three. The Potters are currently four points behind 17th-placed Swansea, but the Swans have a game in hand. Stoke have not won a league match since January, when they defeated Huddersfield 2-0. In fact, that was their only victory in 2018. New manager Paul Lambert said he still hopes to rescue the club from relegation, but if recent form is an indicator of the future, then the Potters would better start to prepare for life in the Championship.
Liverpool: Karius - Clyne, Gomez, Klavan, Moreno - Wijnaldum, Henderson, Milner - Ings, Solanke, Mane
Stoke: Butland - Zouma, Shawcross, Indi, Pieters - Shaqiri, Allen, Ndiaye, Bauer - Crouch, Diouf
My prediction: Liverpool to win 3-1.
Here are the odds for the match at Bet365:
Liverpool win - 1.25
Draw - 6.00
Stoke win - 10.00
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Salah chasing all kind of scoring records this season so it's curious if Klopp would play him as some of the other Liverpool starters too by the way.
Of course the Liverpool coaching staff would be thinking of the Roma rematch mainly but that doesn't mean they wouldn't put a serious effort in that game no matter the starting 11.
2-1 to the home side.
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