Liverpool v Stoke City preview – Another three points for rampant Reds
Liverpool have managed to get their title challenge very much back on track
December 21st, 2016
Liverpool’s shock 4-3 defeat away to Bournemouth and subsequent 2-2 draw at home to West Ham certainly cost them very dearly in the Premier League title race, however they responded in excellent fashion by recording back to back wins over Middlesbrough (3-0) and arch-rivals Everton (1-0), the latter win coming from a Sadio Mane goal four minutes into added time.
The Reds may have been far from their best in the Merseyside derby win on Monday evening but manager Jurgen Klopp was full of praise for the side.
“If you only win the games on your brilliant days, then you do not win a lot of games, so today was a real fight and battle and we were ready for this and very happy about this,” he said to Sky Sports. “We only have to win games… we cannot make a big difference between the games. And you see, it is unbelievably close and difficult each week, so you need to be ready for each game, play your best and collect the points. I am really happy as we now have 37 points, three more than before the game, and we are still on a good way.”
The Reds boss will demand a much improved performance at Anfield on Tuesday evening when his side host a Stoke City outfit which are without a win in their last three outings and who have managed just two away victories so far this season. The Potters have fared badly against sides in the top five with defeats by at least two goals to Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City. As such we really do have to favour an emphatic Liverpool win next week.
The Reds are just 1/3 to win this match, however better value can be had by backing Liverpool to win -1 in handicap market with Paddy Power going 5/6 on this outcome. A rather more tempting bet is Liverpool to win-to-nil at 13/10 with the same bookmaker, given that Klopp’s men have been solid at the back in recent outings.
The Liverpool rearguard have been subject to criticism this season, however they have leaked just six goals in the top-flight this season at Anfield and should hold strong against a Stoke City outfit which are amongst the lowest scorers in the Premier League. As such, we believe that the hosts look good value to secure a maximum points haul as well as keep a clean sheet.
Our choice of goalscorer comes in the form of Sadio Mane, the Senegalese player increasing his goal-tally for the season to eight thanks to his late strike against Everton on Monday evening. He should prove to be a thorn in the side for the Stoke City defence on Tuesday and we recommend backing him at odds of 7/5 on the anytime goalscorer market.