Liverpool is having a hard time making up any ground in the race for the English Premier League crown and will have their hands full when they host Stoke City in an important encounter at Anfield on Tuesday, December 27th. The Reds managed to beat Everton 1-0 in the Merseyside Derby last Monday on an injury-time goal. Meanwhile Stoke blew a late 2-0 lead against 10-man Leicester City and had to settle for a 2-2 draw with the reigning league champions.
Liverpool vs Stoke City – bet365 Soccer Betting Line:
- bet365 currently lists Liverpool as the favorites to win the game at 2/9 with Stoke 12/1 and a draw at 11/2
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Liverpool vs Stoke City – Head to Head:
- These two teams met four times last season as they faced off twice in league action and also met twice in the English League Cup. Liverpool won 1-0 away and 4-1 at home in the league. Sandwiched in- between, each team won 1-0 away in the League Cup with Liverpool advancing on a penalty shootout. Stoke has four wins in the last 14 meetings along with two draws and eight defeats. Overall, these two sides have met 150 times in the past with Liverpool winning 74, losing 36 and drawing the other 40.
Liverpool – A Closer Look:
Liverpool enters the weekend still in second-place as they try to catch Chelsea. The Reds have 37 points from 11 wins, four draws and two defeats with a league-high 41 goals scored and just 18 against. They’re aiming to finish the season at least in the top four to earn a berth in the next year’s European Champions League, but are also proving to be legitimate title challengers. They’re still six points behind Chelsea and have a one-point lead over third-place Manchester City and a three-point gap over fourth-place Arsenal. The club’s recent 15-match undefeated streak in all competitions came to a sudden halt a few weeks ago with a 4-3 defeat at Bournemouth.
Liverpool has five wins and two draws at home this season and has outscored the opposition 21-6. They’ve done well against the league’s top teams with victories over Arsenal and Chelsea along with draws against Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United. They’ve also beaten Tottenham in the English League Cup. Liverpool’s weakness is an inconsistent defense with just four clean sheets in their 17 league outings. Manager Jurgen Klopp has several injury concerns to deal with. Forward Danny Ings and goaltender Adam Bogdan are out for the season and midfielder Philippe Coutinho won’t be back until January. Also, midfielder Sheyi Ojo and defender Joe Gomez are listed as day to day.
Stoke City – A Closer Look:
Stoke City enters the weekend in 11th position in the 20-team league with 21 points after 17 games. They have five wins, six draws and six losses with 19 goals scored and 24 allowed. Stoke has a pretty healthy seven-point lead over 18th-place Sunderland and the relegation zone. However, they trail table-topping Chelsea by 22 points and are 13 behind fourth-place Arsenal.
Manager Mark Hughes also has several injury problems heading into the game. Defender Phil Bardsley isn’t expected back until January while fellow defender Geoff Cameron is listed as day to day. Goalkeeper Jack Butland is likely out until early in 2017 and midfielder Stephen Ireland is on the shelf with a long-term injury. Midfielder Ibrahim Afellay isn’t expected back until February and forward Marko Arnautovic is out of the game with a suspension.
Liverpool vs Stoke City – Takeaway:
Liverpool just has to keep on winning and hope Chelsea slips up somewhere if they’re going to win their first ever Premier League title.
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