Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool snatched a last-gasp victory in a hard-fought Merseyside derby last week – will they be able to make less heavy going of it against Mark Hughes’ Stoke on Tuesday?
Liverpool haven’t been defeated (sort of) at Anfield since January 2016 – and it was actually the Potters that they lost to on that occasion, in the League Cup. The 1-0 scoreline at the end of the 90 minutes saw the game go to extra time and then penalties, which Liverpool won.
Marko Arnautovic was the goalscorer on that occasion, but the Austrian received a red card against Southampton last time out and misses this game – not that he’ll be such a big miss, having scored just one goal in the Prem during this campaign.
Stoke are without a win in their last three, though they looked to be cruising against Leicester last time out, leading 2-0 at half-time against the Foxes. Yet Claudio Ranieri’s side found the means to come back for a draw, despite having played with just 10 men since Jamie Vardy’s sending off in the 28th minute.
There’s been talk that Mark Hughes has been seeking to transform Stoke’s image from long ball cloggers to something more refined. But whether or not the side have displayed more finesse since the Welshman joined, the side rarely seem to put up much of a fight against the Prem’s more intimidating performers.
So far this season Stoke have been done 4-1 at home to Man City and 4-0 to Spurs (not to mention a 4-1 loss to Crystal Palace – one of the Eagles’ only two home wins in the league this season). Stoke’s five victories since August have come against the likes of Sunderland, Hull, Swansea, Watford and Burnley. Liverpool should blow these flat track bullies away, then.
That’s reflected in the odds, of course; Liverpool are 3/10 to win, with the visitors 10/1 shots for victory. The draw is 51/10. Since three of Liverpool’s last four games have featured at least three goals, maybe it’s worth checking the Total Goals market – you can back over 2.5 at 13/25.
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