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The Brazilian is wary of the threat posed by the Potters, who could give a debut to former Red Peter Crouch, but he has urged his team-mates to respond to the challenge

Lucas Leiva has challenged his Liverpool team-mates to continue their fine run of form as they prepare for back-to-back away trips to Stoke City and Tottenham Hotspur.

Liverpool have got off to a strong start to the season, picking up two wins, one of them away to Arsenal, from their first three games.

But they travel to the Britannia Stadium on Saturday, a ground where they have never won in the Premier League.

However, Lucas says his team will have to compete strongly against a physical Stoke side if they are to play their own game and earn valuable away points.

"We know we have two away games now and it's really important to get points in the away games," he told the club’s official website.

"It always makes a big difference at the end of the season.

"We have to keep going and try to play well - the same way we have in the first three games. If we do, I am sure we will get points and we'll have another good month.

"We know how difficult it is to play against Stoke, especially on their own ground. They have a physical game and big players, and their set pieces are always really difficult to defend. We have to go there ready to fight, try to play football and win.

"A lot of big clubs go there and can't win, but it will be a very good test for us to see how we cope with this type of team."

Stoke have also started the season well and are currently unbeaten in all competitions, including the Europa League.

Boss Tony Pulis has added to his squad over the summer, with former Liverpool striker Peter Crouch amongst his ranks, as well as Wilson Palacios who also joined from Tottenham Hotspur at the end of the transfer window.

Lucas said he was fully aware of Crouch’s all-round threat, but he also highlighted a number of other players who he said Liverpool should be wary of during the match, saying they are not just a team reliant upon set plays.

"They also have [Kenwyne] Jones who can challenge in the air and is really strong," added Lucas.

"Crouchy is very good in the air and with the ball at his feet. He can make things happen. And we know [Cameron] Jerome was an important player for Birmingham.

"They will probably be very excited playing their first game at the stadium for their fans, so we have to be aware of that.

"[Delap] is an important player for them, especially with his throw-ins, but we know [Robert] Huth can do a similar type of job.

"If he doesn't play they will probably miss him. But they are not just about long throw-ins.

"They have good players, including a couple that played here in the past. They have quality and we have to make sure we prepare well and are ready to battle."

Liverpool have also bolstered their squad in the past couple of weeks and could hand debuts to Craig Bellamy, who has rejoined the club from Manchester City, and Sebastian Coates, who signed from Nacional.

And the Brazilian international believes they will both turn out to be great signings for the Reds.

"Bellamy has been here for a year before, so he knows what the club is about," he said.

"Coates is a young player who has a lot of potential. He has come to strengthen the squad and give us more quality in defence.

“We already have three very good players [in that position] and, along with Danny Wilson, who is a young player as well, he will add a lot of strength and quality.

"We are here to help him to settle, in the same way we helped Luis [Suarez]. I don't think Craig will have any problems in settling into the city and at the club as well."

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