9:30 PM (AEST) Saturday, April 28 at Anfield, Liverpool
Round 36 of the English Premier League gets underway on Saturday, with heavyweight hosts Liverpool taking on a Stoke side trying to avoid relegation.
Liverpool: Mignolet; Gomez, Lovren, Matip, Robertson; Henderson, Can, Wijnaldum; Firmino, Mane, Salah.
Stoke: Butland; Wimmer, Zouma, Martins, Indi; Cameron, Allen, Fletcher, Pieters; Shaqiri, Jese; Berahino.
A total of 125 games have been played between these two outfits, with Liverpool dominating, scoring 63 wins to Stoke’s 30, while 32 matches have been drawn. Their last clash earlier this season saw the Reds win 3-0.
Liverpool were the best attacking side in the Premier League for near the entire season before some indifferent late season form saw them drop off slightly. They started off this season with their attack firing when they had a 3 all draw with Watford. Their defence was much when they beat Crystal Palace 1-0. They flogged fellow heavyweights Arsenal 4-0 before copping a 5-0 hiding from Manchester City. They then had a 1 all draw with Burnley before beating Leicester City 3-2. In Round 7 they were held to a 1 all draw with Newcastle. They then had a scoreless draw with Man Utd before a heavy 4-1 loss to Spurs. They’ve since beaten the Terriers 3-0, Hammers 4-1 and Southampton 3-0. After a 1 all draw with Chelsea, they beat Stoke 3-0 and Brighton 5-1. The Reds then had draws with Everton and West Brom before belting Bournemouth 4-0. After an entertaining 3 all draw with Arsenal, Liverpool then hammered lowly Swansea 5-0 and have since also beaten Leicester, Burnley and Everton, all by 2-1. The Reds then scored a 4-3 win over the undefeated Manchester City and then were disappointing 1-0 losers to last placed Swansea the following weekend. They belted the woefully out of form Huddersfield 3-0 before Spurs held them to a 2 all draw. The Reds then beat Southampton 2-0, Hammers 4-1 and then Newcastle 2-0. After a 2-1 loss to Manchester United, Liverpool hit back with an emphatic 5-0 win over Watford, before beating Crystal Palace 2-1. After a scoreless draw with cross city rivals Everton, the Reds hammered Bournemouth 3-0 before scoring a 2 all draw last week with West Brom.
Stoke finished their last season in 13th place, just a win shy of 8th place, giving them plenty to be optimistic about for this season. They lost their opening game to Everton 1-0 before picking up a stunning 1-0 win over top side Arsenal. In Round 3 they played out a 1 all draw with West Brom, before scoring another draw the following week with Man United. Stoke then suffered some heavy losses, including 2-1 to promoted side Newcastle, 4-0 to Chelsea and 7-2 against Manchester City. They managed a win amongst that horror run, against Southampton 2-1. In Round 9 they lost 2-1 to Bournemouth 2-1, but they returned to the winners circle with a 1-0 win over Watford. Successive 2 all draws with Leicester and Brighton were followed by losses to Palace 2-1 and Liverpool 3-0 before they beat Swansea 2-1. The Potters were then belted 5-1 by Spurs then went down 1-0 to Burnley and 3-0 to the Hammers. After beating West Brom 3-1, they had a draw with Huddersfield and then a heavy loss to Chelsea 5-0 then losing to the out of form Newcastle 1-0 before Man U beat them 3-0. Stoke then beat the Terriers 2-0, following up with a scoreless draw against Watford, a 2-1 loss to Bournemouth and a 1 all draw with Brighton. They’ve scored two draws against Leicester and Southampton before dropping all of their next 4 games, all against top sides: Manchester City, Everton, Arsenal and Spurs. They’ve since had back to back 1 all draws with Hammers and Burnley.
Stoke v Relegation – Stoke desperately need a win here to ease their relegation fears.
Liverpool are on home soil and will be raging favourites in this.