Kop boss Jurgen Klopp will not want to lose ground on the race to win the Premier League title this term, after Liverpool’s dramatic injury time win over arch rivals Everton at Goodison Park. Liverpool currently sit in second place in the Premier League table, six points behind leaders Chelsea. They face Stoke City in their next Premier League game on December 27th on o Tuesday evening encounter at Anfield.
Mark Hughes’ Stoke City side is placed eleventh and will argue that they have the hardest festive fixtures in the Premier League including an away trip to Chelsea and a potentially tricky home tie against Watford.
Liverpool have won five of their last six Premier League games against Stoke, losing the other 6-1 in May 2015. Stoke beat Liverpool, 1-0, in the 2nd leg of the League Cup semi-final last January, though they were eliminated eventually on penalties. This finally did end a run of 36 matches without a single win in any tournament at Anfield. They once again lost 4-1 in April in the Premier League at home.
Liverpool currently are unbeaten in 15 Premier League home games having won 9 and drawn 6, this is the longest current unbeaten home run in the Premier League.
Philippe Coutinho handed Klopp a major injury boost by returning to training shortly before Liverpool’s 1-0 win over Everton. The Brazilian play-maker suffered an ankle injury in the 2-0 loss to Sunderland, back in November, after a collision with midfielder Ibrahim Ndong. Joel Matip has also struggled with a minor ankle injury and will compete along with team-mate Marko Grujic, to be fit on time for the visit to Stoke. Danny Ings (knee) and Adam Bogdanare (ACL) both continued to be sidelined long term with their respective injuries. Even the return to action of duo Emre Can and Daniel Sturridge could be extremely timely and vital for the Merseyside outfit.
Goalkeeper Jack Butland, who has been out of action since fracturing his ankle playing for England in a friendly against Germany on March 26, has undergone his second round of surgery.
The fixture may also come too soon for the likes of USA international Geoff Cameron (knee), Marc Muniesa (knee) and Phil Bardsley (knee) who are all expected to return to action at some point this month.
Predicted Liverpool line-up: Mignolet; Clyne, Lovren, Klavan, Milner, Lallana, Henderson, Wijnaldum, Mane, Origi, Firmino.
Predicted Stoke line-up: Grant; Johnson, Shawcross, Martins Indi, Pieters, Imbula, Whelan, Diouf, Allen, Krkic, Walters.
Match Prediction :
Based on current form the Reds should be able to see of Stoke City and record a comfortable win, however football is a funny game in which anything could happen.
Liverpool 3-1 Stoke City