Match thread: Liverpool vs Stoke City

Howdy partners,

Hope everyone is well and suitably recovered from last Tuesday's drubbing of Roma celebrations, for next up, we have in our sights the footballing colossus commonly referred to as, Stoke.

Yes not quite as enthusing as the heady heights of shellacking our way through Europe's elite but nevertheless an important fixture, in which we must maintain our concentration and focus. Nothing less than a strong finish to the EPL season is what we expect of our team and by delivering such and confirming a top four finishing berth, as quickly as possible, they can then shift all their energies toward winning what would be our sixth Champions League trophy; including resting players as necessary. With our second leg tie against Roma only a matter of days after this game though, I think it's safe to say that some of that resting will begin immediately. However, the following has to be factored into the resting equation:

Sadio Mane is carrying what manager Jurgen Klopp has described as a 'not serious' injury but it seems certain that if he features at all, it will not be for the full ninety minutes. Alex The Ox-lade Chamberlain is sadly now out for the season after incurring a knee injury in the first leg against Roma and long term absentees, Adam Lallana and Emre Can, still remain sidelined. So, with Joel Matip also having previously been ruled out for the season our squad is looking a little thin on the ground, particularly in midfield, and it will be interesting to see how Jurgen goes about trying to rest and protect our important players, whilst also ensuring we put in a strong showing against Stoke. He will also have to try his best to protect the on fire Mo Salah, who is clearly chomping at the bit to beat all manor of goal scoring records, as well as pip Tottenham's Harry Kane to the golden boot award.

In terms of form, whilst LFC are flying high, Stoke are on a terrible run of games, having not won a single match in their last eleven fixtures. They too also have several players who've been out injured for sometime, including striker Eric Choupo-Moting and left back Kostas Stafylidis, as well as a more recent injury to defender Glen Johnson, which has put his participation in Saturdays' game against his former Club in doubt. At least then, they already have someone to blame when they lose...

Kick off: 12.30PM (GMT)

TV stations: Sky Sports, NBC SN, Star Sports 2 India, beiN Sports 1 Indonesia, Sportsnet World

Teams:

Liverpool: Karius, Gomez, Van Dijk, Klavan, Alexander-Arnold, Henderson, Wijnaldum, Moreno, Salah, Firmino, Ings

Substitutes: Mignolet, Lovren, Clyne, Robertson, Milner, Woodburn, Solanke

Stoke City: Butland, Zouma, Shawcross, Martins-Indi, Bauer, Allen, Badou, Pieters, Shaqiri, Diouf, Crouch

Substitutes: Haugaard, Cameron, Fletcher, Adam, Ireland, Ramadan, Campbell


So there we have it then - a seemingly, routine, end of season fixture against Stoke - what could possibly go wrong.

My prediction, a cagey affair with lots of attempted bus parking by The Potters but us to prevail, 2-0.

Click me to re-watch the match in full or highlights.

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