Liverpool host Stoke to kickstart busy festive period
Liverpool host Stoke City for the evening game on the 27th December. Jurgen Klopp will be eager not to lose ground on the title race after Liverpool’s dramatic injury time win over local rivals Everton at Goodison Park.
The stoppage time win at Everton felt like a defining three points for Jurgen Klopp’s team but they need to maintain pressure on Chelsea.
- Liverpool are unbeaten in 15 Premier League home games (W9 D6 L0) – the longest current unbeaten home run in the competition.
- Joe Allen has scored five goals in 16 Premier League appearances for Stoke City this season. One more than his entire Liverpool career in the competition.
- Mark Hughes has never won a Premier League game as a manager at Anfield.
- Sadio Mane has had a hand in eight goals in his last nine Premier League appearances (five goals, three assists)
- Antonio Conte’s men could go nine points clear of Liverpool if they beat Bournemouth.
- Liverpool have never lost a top-flight league game at home to Stoke. A sequence stretches back 53 games.
- Stoke are currently eleventh in the Premier League, go into the game on the back of consecutive home draws.
Christmas fixture list
The fixture men were clearly having a laughter when they drew up the Christmas fixtures this season. We play title rivals Manchester City on New Year’s eve before Sunderland just two days later, following the clash with Stoke.
The is something Klopp and his team will have to adjust to – coming from the winter break they got in the Bundesliga is going to be a culture shock!
Speaking to the media in the above video, the German is asked whether he will be on the look-out for new players in January – following the injury to Mane – as Liverpool look to keep Chelsea within their sights at the top of the table.
He also talks about the Potters ahead of the Tuesday night fixture, saying: “Stoke is a bit between Everton and Man City. The second child if you want.”
“It’s not important when they beat us last time. It’s not important about the history.”
“I don’t care. I think we spoke about fixtures, the good thing of having no break is you don’t think you need a break.”
“Everybody is on fire, we are all on track, that’s a really good thing. Stoke have the same idea. Very, very important game, I’m really looking forward to it.”
The return of Joe Allen
The Welshman will reunite with a few familiar faces when he returns to Anfield.
And speaking about the clash, Klopp said: “Do we miss Joe Allen? Yes. Unbelievable, strong player.”
“We all knew his quality. He’s having a big impact at Stoke. It was a common decision. It was clear after the last two years, not being a fixed line-up player.”
“He plays a little more offensive now than what he would for us. If Liverpool sells a player, then they have to have a real impact at their next club. If you leave us, okay, then show us what you’ve learned.”
Starting line up
Klopp could potentially start with the same team that beat Everton last Monday.
Sturridge has been training however doesn’t look sharp enough to start the game. Can is in a similar position too.
Joel Matip is not in a position where he can start so it’s likely that Klavan will partner Lovren again. The partnership worked well against Everton where the no-nonsense old fashioned centre back really complemented Lovren’s style of play. I’m confident that he would have another great game.
One thing is for sure, Klopp would have the Man City game in mind. So should we be in a position to do so, I’d expect some substitutions to be made close to the 60th minute -potentially 2 youngsters or Lucas on what could be one of his last games at Anfield if the rumours are true.
What do you think? Feel free to leave a comment.
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