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Stoke vs Liverpool Preview, Team News, Likely Line-Ups, Key Man & Predicted Score
Brendan Rodgers side eased into the fourth round of the FA Cup with a 2-0 win over Oldham Athletic last time out, but they will get back to league matters this weekend hoping to maintain their push for Champions League qualification.
The Reds dropped to sixth following wins for Everton and Tottenahm Hotspur on Saturday afternoon but the Merseysiders can climb back up to fourth with a win tomorrow.
They will face a Stoke side that have won just one of their previous three Premier League fixtures to leave them sitting 12th in the table but with just four points separating them from the drop zone, Mark Hughes will be hoping to widen the gap with a positive result on Sunday.
Stoke will once again be forced to play third choice goalkeeper Jack Butland with both Asmir Begovic (finger) and Thomas Sorensen (Achilles) out injured.
Defender Robert Huth is also a major doubt with a knee injury and he could join Stephen Ireland and Andy Wilkinson on the sidelines.
Hughes is expected to recall Peter Crouch up front while Jonathan Walters could also return in place of the in-form Oussama Assaidi – who’s unable to feature against his parent club.
Liverpool were dealt a blow this week with the news that Daniel Agger will miss the next four weeks with a calf injury. Martin Skrtel will be recalled after being rested last week while Mamadou Sakho could also start after recovering from from a hamstring strain.
Striker Daniel Sturridge is back in contention having returned to training this week, but he’s likely to be named among the substitutes after not playing since late November.
However, Rodgers will continue to be without Joe Allen, Jose Enrique and Jon Flanagan who remain injured.
Luis Suarez: The recently named December player of the month has been a little quieter in recent weeks but there’s little doubt he will be the man Stoke will have to keep their eye on this weekend. Give him a sniff and he’ll punish you.
Stoke 1-2 Liverpool: The Britannia is never an easy place to visit and Mark Hughes men will make life difficult for Liverpool, but we can see the Merseysiders having just too much quality in the end.
What team would you like to see start and what’s your predicted score? Share your views below.