Liverpool v Stoke City betting tips – Potters will put Reds’ leaky defence to the test
Jurgen Klopp is moving ever closer to his first Wembley final with Liverpool
January 26th, 2016
Liverpool will be in high spirits heading into this Capital One Cup second-leg semi-final against Stoke City tonight, following their high-scoring antics at Carrow Road at the weekend and their narrow 1-0 advantage from the first leg at the Britannia Stadium.
Klopp has succeeded in turning the Reds into an entertaining side, however their inconsistency in the Premier League has seen them fail to make an impact on the top-four and they currently sit some thirteen points off the pace.
One thing you can expect though is a few goals. Despite falling far short of a Champions League place as things stand, the fans have at least been enjoying some thrilling matches and the 5-4 thriller at Carrow Road on Saturday was perhaps the Premier League game of the season.
The supporters may be relatively happy with what they are seeing, however performances don’t necessarily equate to points and Klopp will be eager to see his side display more solidity at the back.
“It may sound crazy when I say we defended better today,” Klopp said following the win over Norwich City. “We’ve made different mistakes. If you win 5-4 it’s a funny story, but it’s not that funny. We have to solve it.
“Today we conceded four goals after set-plays, but we defended them better. We got all the goals after second ball set plays. Things like this can happen. That’s how life is: solve one problem and you have another one.
“They do what we have to do, defend the first ball, but because of our history they all stay in the box. The first (Norwich) goal, with the heel, you have to be offside if you stay there. It’s unbelievable. It’s not possible. I am not happy with this situation, for sure.”
Stoke City have a bit of a mountain to climb should they wish to claw their back into contention in this semi-final, however matters won’t have been helped following their 3-0 capitulation to league leaders Leicester City at the weekend.
Mark Hughes was unsurprisingly less than delighted with his team’s performance in that game and will be demanding a much improved display in this evening’s clash.
“Maybe subconsciously they did, (have their mind on the semi-final) but I hope not,” said Hughes. “But no, I don’t think so. It wasn’t a great day for us and we didn’t produce anything of note. We’re an honest group and this was just one of those days to forget, I think.
“We are a lot better than we were able to show but that’s credit to Leicester, who work exceptionally hard and press you in all areas of the field. We couldn’t deal with that and we couldn’t retain the ball in key areas of the pitch because of the pressure we were put under, which was disappointing.
“You can’t win Premier League games if you don’t have a good number of players playing really well, which we didn’t have. “We needed to be better but we’ll be looking to bounce back quickly – we have managed to do that more often than not. We have a huge game on Tuesday and I expect my team to respond very quickly.”
The Potters will need to be on the offensive from the start at Anfield this evening, however Liverpool are scoring for fun of late and this would suggest that there will be goals galore tonight. The Reds are far from solid at the back and Stoke will be looking to take full advantage of this, therefore we’ll be backing over 3.5 goals at 27/10 with Winner.
We would usually be very reluctant to back a winner in this clash, however Stoke City have been extremely inconsistent both home and away and they will struggle against a Reds side who have been far from shy in front of goal. As such, we’ll be backing Liverpool to win and both teams to score at odds of 7/2 with Ladbrokes.