Owen eager to end poor personal run against Liverpool

The injury-prone 33-year-old former England international has failed to score every time he's faced his former employers since leaving Anfield and is hopeful of ending that streak
Stoke striker Michael Owen is eager to get on the scoresheet against former club Liverpool, admitting that he has found it tough to play against them in the past.

Tony Pulis' side currently sit in ninth in the Premier League, just one place behind Brendan Rodgers' side ahead of their encounter at the Britannia Stadium on Boxing Day, despite having drawn 10 of their 18 games so far this season.

After leaving Liverpool for Real Madrid back in 2004, Owen has been back in the top-flight for the past seven years with the likes of Newcastle and Manchester United, but has struggled to have an impact against his first club whenever he's faced them, a situation he remains fully aware of.

"It is a strange feeling really playing against your old club, especially one where you were there for around 15 years," the striker told reporters.

"Liverpool are a big part of my life and career and I had some of the best times of my life at the club.

7/2 Michael Owen is 7/2 with bet365 to score at anytime against Liverpool for Stoke
"So certainly I have happy memories. I have not been so happy playing against them since; I have never scored and not particularly enjoyed it."

Stoke are currently on a nine-game unbeaten run and Owen believes that the club's target is still Premier League survival above all else, before looking ahead at a possible European push later on in the campaign.

He added: "I don't see any reason why not. We had a really tough start to the season and we picked up points against some of the big teams.

"Then we went into a period of games where you would look at them on paper and say we had a chance of picking up points, and we have duly done that.

"I think our ambitions are probably still the same. First and foremost everyone wants to survive in the league, no matter what team you play for, so you want to hit that magic 40 points before you start dreaming about anything else.

"Then once you have done that, you want to finish the season as well as you can and get as high as you can.

"We know that is possible, but first and foremost it is about getting to 40 points and then we'll reassess from there."