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2 vs 0
February 2, 2011 8:00 PM GMT
Anfield — Liverpool
Referee:‬ A. Taylor‎
Attendance:‬ 40254‎
79′ Luis Suárez

Premier League Preview: Liverpool - Stoke City

By Sam Bisby

A New Era, A New Beginning...

Liverpool had one busy day amongst the dying embers of January’s transfer window. Kop (probably not so much anymore) legend Fernando Torres packed up and flew south to join Carlo Ancelotti’s Chelsea for a massive £50m, whilst Newcastle’s Andy Carroll made the trip to Merseyside along with Ajax’s Luis Suarez, installing an Anfield revolution within the attacking third of Kenny Dalglish’s transformed squad.

However, it will be Uruguayan Suarez who will get the honours on Wednesday night ahead of the injured Carroll, allowing the Kop faithful to lay spectacle to what could be their next hero.

In the shadows of the epically sizable cheques and James Bond esque helicopter scrambles, Liverpool’s vice-captain Jamie Carragher returns to action after just under three months on the sidelines with a dislocated shoulder. His presence on the pitch will be a welcome prospect as the Reds look to kick-start their stop-start campaign once and for all.

Away Day Struggle

Stoke have currently won just three of their away games this season and will almost definitely find Wednesday night’s game a tough test, by any means.

However, Tony Pulis’ side will be able to carry the fact that three points at Anfield will see the team, who currently lie in 10th, leapfrog their opponents and slot into seventh.

Pulis’s side have a very awkward style of play, combining pure toughness with a hint of flair and attractive football, something that caught out a then Roy Hodgson’s side when the two met at the Britannia Stadium with the home side brushing a poor Liverpool aside 2-0.



The home side will welcome back one of their most influential players on Wednesday night in the form of vice-captain Jamie Carragher who has not played since dislocating his shoulder in November.

Liverpool also look set to add new addition Luis Suarez to the line-up as he completed his move from Ajax on the eve of the transfer deadline earlier this week and should be eligible to make his debut at Anfield against Stoke.

Kenny Dalglish’s side have a full bill of health with the exception of £35 million and former Newcastle striker Andy Carroll, who is still battling with his thigh problem and won’t be able to turn out in a red shirt for a few weeks yet.

Possible starting XI: Reina; Kelly, Carragher, Agger, Johnson; Lucas; Kuyt, Gerrard, Meireles, Maxi; Suarez.

Stoke City

The visitors will arrive at Anfield with just one injury worry as Danny Higginbotham is struggling with a hamstring problem.

However, to add to Tony Pulis’ defensive problems, Ryan Shawcross still has more games to serve as part of his two-match suspension for his sending off at Fulham.

Stoke let go of two of their strikers over the transfer window with both Tuncay Sanli and Eider Gudjohnsen making their moves out of the Britannia Stadium in January, but still possess the firepower of Kenwyne Jones and Aston Villa loanee John Carew.

Asmir Begovic should replace Thomas Sorenson who was given a run out in Stoke’s FA Cup win over Wolves at the weekend.

Possible starting XI: Begovic; Wilkinson, Huth, Faye, Collins; Pennant, Whitehead, Delap, Etherington; Carew, Jones.

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Last Five Matches
Team News
Available Squads
25Pepe ReinaGoalkeeper
34Martin KellyDefender
16Sotirios KyrgiakosDefender
37Martin SkrtelDefender
5Daniel AggerDefender
2Glen JohnsonDefender
21Lucas LeivaMidfielder
8Steven GerrardMidfielder
6Fabio AurelioDefender
14Raúl MeirelesMidfielder
11Dirk KuytStriker
42Peter GulacsiGoalkeeper
23Jamie CarragherDefender
5Christian PoulsenMidfielder
11Maxi RodríguezMidfielder
54David NgogStriker
7Luis SuárezStriker
8Jonjo ShelveyMidfielder
1Asmir BegovicGoalkeeper
28Andy WilkinsonDefender
4Robert HuthDefender
25Abdoulaye FayeDefender
3Danny HigginbothamDefender
7Jermaine PennantMidfielder
18Dean WhiteheadMidfielder
15Salif DiaoDefender
12Marc WilsonDefender
19Jonathan WaltersStriker
10John Alieu CarewStriker
29Thomas SørensenGoalkeeper
26Matthew EtheringtonMidfielder
6Glenn WhelanMidfielder
9Kenwyne JonesStriker
24Rory DelapMidfielder
5Danny CollinsDefender
10Ricardo FullerStriker
Probable Lineups
Pepe Reina 25
Martin Kelly 34
Sotirios Kyrgiakos 16
Martin Skrtel 37
Daniel Agger 5
Glen Johnson 2
Lucas Leiva 21
Steven Gerrard 8
Fabio Aurelio 6
Raúl Meireles 14
Dirk Kuyt 11
Asmir Begovic 1
Andy Wilkinson 28
Robert Huth 4
Abdoulaye Faye 25
Danny Higginbotham 3
Jermaine Pennant 7
Dean Whitehead 18
Salif Diao 15
Marc Wilson 12
Jonathan Walters 19
John Alieu Carew 10
Liverpool have had nearly a week’s rest and will feel like they have a point to prove in that they can survive without Torres and is also a good game for Suarez to place his stake in showing his worth, Stoke will struggle to do the double over the Reds because of this and more.
Editor's Prediction
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Luis Suárez Luis Suárez
29 0
Daniel Sturridge Daniel Sturridge
20 0
Yaya Touré Yaya Touré
Manchester City
18 6
Wayne Rooney Wayne Rooney
Man Utd.
15 2
Sergio Agüero Sergio Agüero
Manchester City
15 0