Liverpool take on Stoke City for the third time already this season and are looking to keep their assault on the top four on course with a win at Anfield.
The Reds have been in great form recently and picked up a 3-1 win against Newcastle at Anfield in their last Premier League fixture. Steven Gerrard’s return to the Liverpool side has coincided with their good run and they followed the win over the Magpies with an FA Cup thrashing of Oldham followed by a tough away win against Manchester City in the semi-final first leg of the Carling Cup. Gerrard signed a new deal with the Reds this week and that will keep Gerrard at Anfield for life, as well as an ambassadorial role if the 31 year old captain chooses to accept it. Jay Spearing’s injury in midweek rules him out of the game against Stoke and Charlie Adam is expected to start in his place. Kenny Dalglish welcomes back Jose Enrique to the starting lineup, but is still without Luis Suarez, who is midway through his eight-game ban.
Stoke are looking to complete the league double over the Reds this season after beating them 1-0 at the Britannia Stadium earlier this season. Tony Pulis has a number of defensive worries to contend with in his side and will conduct late fitness tests on Jonathan Woodgate, Marc Wilson and Ryan Shotton. The Potters won away at Blackburn in their last league meeting thanks to two goals from former Liverpool striker Peter Crouch. The England international returns to Anfield with Stoke and will be looking to add to his 101 career league goals with a winner against Liverpool.
Liverpool have drawn six games so far at home this season and Stoke will be looking to pick up a vital away win in their search to get back into the Europa League. The Reds will miss Luis Suarez, but have the threats of Andy Carroll and Craig Bellamy to beat the Potters.
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