Stoke City v Liverpool – Match Preview

Two of the Premier League unbeaten sides meet at The Britannia on Saturday and Stoke will go into the game full of confidence. Draws to Chelsea and Norwich were followed in their last outing with a victory over West Brom thanks to a last minute Ryan Shotton goal. Liverpool have also made a bright start to the season after the frustrating 1-1 draw against Sunderland was followed with impressive victories over Arsenal and Bolton before the international break.

Stoke’s new signing Wilson Palicios is not fit but Peter Crouch is expected to make his debut against one of his former clubs. Long-throw expert Rory Delap is still out for Stoke along with Ricardo Fuller, Marc Wilson and Danny Higginbottom.

Kenny Dalglish will have two new players to call upon in Uruguayan centre-back Sebastian Coates and striker Craig Bellamy who will both probably start on the bench. Glen Johnson and Martin Kelly are both doubtful while Charlie Adam could miss out after picking up an injury on international duty. Captain Steven Gerrard is close to making a comeback but not in time for Saturday’s tie.

Any trip to The Britannia is always difficult and this week’s will be no different for Dalglish’s men. Although this Liverpool side look to have renewed confidence from the team that lost here last season I still cannot see them beating a stubborn Stoke side who have added more quality in the transfer window.

Key Men

Peter Crouch: The lanky forward, who is expected to start against one of his former clubs, will be keen to impress on his debut and he could cause problems for Liverpool’s centre backs.

Luis Suarez: The Uruguayan forward remains Liverpool’s greatest threat, with the ability to change the tightest of game, he is certainly a player that Stoke need to watch carefully.

Verdict: 1-1

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