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17:27 5th October 2012

Liverpool Match Preview


FRESH from their first win of the season last weekend, Stoke City will be looking for momentum on Sunday... although a victory would certainly go against the history books.

In fact, the Potters have never beaten Liverpool at Anfield in a top flight game – a run that includes 49 matches. 

They’ll be hoping to draw encouragement from the Reds’ poor recent form at home, and will be looking to three former Liverpool players – Charlie Adam, Peter Crouch and Michael Owen – for inspiration in front of their old supporters. 

Liverpool will hope to bounce from the midweek disappointment of losing to Udinese in the Europa League, and will be more inclined to look to their previous result – a convincing 5-2 thrashing of Norwich City.

Liverpool Fact-File
Full name: Liverpool Football Club
Founded: 1892
Stadium: Anfield
Capacity: 45,522
Owner: Fenway Sports Group
Chairman: Tom Werner
Manager: Brendan Rodgers
2011/12: Premier League (8th), FA Cup (runners-up), League Cup (winners)
Record league victory: 10-1 v Rotherham United in Second Division, 18/02/1896
Record league defeat: 1-9 v Birmingham City in Second Division, 11/12/1954
Record transfer fee paid: £35m for Andy Carroll to Newcastle United, 31/01/2011
Record transfer fee received: £50m for Fernando Torres from Chelsea, 31/01/2011

Introducing the Gaffer

NO MANAGER has been under the spotlight more since the summer than Brendan Rodgers, and after a difficult start to the campaign, last weekend’s 5-2 win over Norwich was very welcome.

Although the manager’s hot-seat at Anfield always attracts pressure akin to none other in the Premier League, Rodgers had no hesitation in moving from Swansea when given the chance in June.

It was at the Liberty Stadium where his reputation truly escalated after guiding the Swans to promotion via the play-offs in the Championship, and finishing comfortably mid-table in their debut season last year.

Before that, he had short spells at Reading and Watford after initially coaching Chelsea’s youth team under José Mourinho.  

Team News

TONY PULIS has no fresh injury concerns ahead of the match, although Andy Wilkinson will serve the final game of his ban for his retrospective red card after the Manchester City game.

For Liverpool, Jonjo Shelvey is also absent through suspension, while Martin Kelly (knee), Lucas Leiva (thigh) and John Flanagan (ankle) will miss out.

Jose Enrique (knee) and Joe Cole (hamstring) are touch-and-go for the Reds, with wholesale changes expected from Thursday’s Europa League defeat to Udinese. 

Weekend’s Fixtures
Manchester City v Sunderland (12:45)
Chelsea v Norwich City
Swansea City v Reading
West Bromwich Albion v Queens Park Rangers
Wigan Athletic v Everton
West Ham United v Arsenal (17:30)
Southampton v Fulham (Sunday, 13:30)
Tottenham Hotspur v Aston Villa (Sunday, 15:00)
Newcastle United v Manchester United (Sunday, 16:00) 
All games kick off at 3pm on Saturday unless otherwise stated.

League: 28 Stoke City wins; 55 Liverpool wins; 31 draws
FA Cup: 0 Stoke City wins; 5 Liverpool wins; 2 draws
League Cup: 0 Stoke City wins; 4 Liverpool wins; 1 draw
TOTAL: 28 Stoke City wins; 64 Liverpool wins; 34 draws

Last Five Encounters
Liverpool 2-1 Stoke City (FA Cup) – 18/03/2012
Liverpool 0-0 Stoke City (Premier League) – 14/01/2012
Stoke City 1-2 Liverpool (League Cup) – 26/10/2011
Stoke City 1-0 Liverpool (Premier League) – 10/09/2011
Liverpool 2-0 Stoke City (Premier League) – 02/02/2011

Betting News
Liverpool win 4/9; Stoke City win 13/2; draw 10/3

Referee – Lee Mason

LEE MASON has already taken charge of a Potters game this season when he oversaw the Club’s 0-0 draw with Arsenal in the opening home game of the campaign.

His most recent match was Leeds United’s 2-1 victory over Everton in the League Cup on September 25th, while the weekend before he officiated West Ham’s 1-1 draw with Sunderland in the Premier League.

He has yet to award a red card this season, but has shown 17 yellows. 

His last Liverpool game was their home defeat to Wigan Athletic in March.