By Christopher Boulay
Liverpool head to Stoke to play the Potters later today in the club’s fourth round match-up in the League Cup, and in order to move on in the competition, Liverpool needs to learn from its mistakes from the weekend against Norwich City, and the loss against Stoke earlier in the Premier League campaign.
Manager Kenny Dalglish is expected to put out a tough squad against the Potters, but it would not be a surprise to see Luis Suarez rested in order to better prepare him for the match against West Bromwich Albion on Saturday. However, Lucas Leiva is back from suspension and he should pair up with Gerrard in the center. Don’t expect too many new faces in the squad, except for a possible appearance from Andy Carroll or Jordan Henderson.
For Stoke, Tony Pulis has been forced to mix his squad up multiple times this season, as the club have been involved in the Premier League, Carling Cup and Europa League. It may be a headache, but it is one worth having, and the manager is likely drooling at the opportunity to take two matches from Liverpool in the first half of the season.
If Liverpool are planning on winning against Stoke, it will need to come from the attack. Going down early will allow one of the Premier League’s top defenses to hunker down and deflect for the rest of the game. It is important for the forwards to get involved early, as the Potters may not be strong enough to stage a comeback.
Stoke City v Liverpool
When: Today, October 26 1945 BST/ 1445 ET
Where: Britannia Stadium, Stoke-on-Trent
Table: Liverpool 6th in Premier League (15 points), Brighton 9th in Premier League (12 points)
Last League Cup Match: Brighton 1-2 Liverpool, Stoke 0-0 Tottenham (7-6 on penalties)
Projected Stoke Starting 11: (4-4-2)
DEF: Huth, Shawcross, Upson, Whelan
MF: Etherington, Delap, Wilson, Whitehead
FW: Jones, Jerome
Subs: Begovic, Wilkinson, Shotton, Diao, Palacios, Walters, Crouch
Projected Liverpool Starting 11: (4-4-2)
DEF: Johnson, Carragher, Agger, Jose Enrique
MF: Kuyt, Gerrard, Lucas, Henderson
FW: Bellamy, Carroll
Subs: Doni, Coates, Skrtel, Kelly, Adam, Downing, Suarez
This is certainly not the first time these two clubs have met in the League Cup, as there was quite the famous result for the Reds against Stoke in the 2000-01 campaign. For those who don’t remember that far back, Liverpool won quite comfortably against Stoke, before going on to win the cup against Birmingham City on penalties. Will this match put the Reds on the same track?