Britannia Stadium will witness Premier League match time this weekend as Liverpool travel to the potteries to face Stoke, in match week three, on Saturday, September 10.
Neither team has tasted defeat this season, in their three opening matches, with Liverpool two points ahead. The Potters are considered among the toughest teams playing at home and last season, they got the better of Liverpool by a 2-0 margin. Liverpool returned the compliment, by beating the Potters, in the return leg, at Anfield.
But both teams have used the transfer window to optimal effect and everything points to an enthralling contest, in the offing, on Saturday.
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Stoke will look to their new trio of midfielder Wilson Palacios and strikers Cameron Jerome and Peter Crouch to provide the impetus against a gung-ho Liverpool under Dalglish. Palacios could miss the game owing to lack of fitness but Crouch is expected to be in the starting eleven for the Potters. Kenwyne Jones is another striker who could keep the Liverpool back-line on their toes. Pennant and Etherington are likely to do duty on the wings though they will miss Delap in midfield owing to a hamstring strain, with Ryan Shotton likely to replace him. There are some other Stoke players with injury concerns including Marc Wilson, Danny Higginbotham, Ricardo Fuller and Mamdy Sidibe.
Liverpool are working up a fine rhythm and will be raring to go despite the loss of Meireles in the transfer window; defender Sebastian Coates and striker Craig Bellamy have joined the squad in a summer that has seen Dalglish splash money on a shopping spree. Dalglish has brought a dynamic passing style to bear and the results are there to see. With Gerard out, owing to injury, and with Charlie Adam injured, youngster Scott Henderson could get an opportunity to display his wares, in midfield. Dalglish will look to Brazil’s Lucas to provide the buffer in central midfield. But the real threat for Stoke will in the form of striker Suarez. The Merseysiders will also rely on crosses to Carroll from Kuyt and Downing.
If the Reds have a weak area, it could be in defence, in the absence of Kelly and Johnson, both doubtful for the game; this will add to the burden on Carragher and Agger, in the face of the aerial threat posed by the Potters.
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An avid writer, on an eclectic range of subjects, he brings to bear editorial experience garnered with a national newspaper in South-East Asia. He also has sportscasting experience, as a cricket commentator, and his passion for sport extends beyond Cricket, to Football, Tennis, and Olympic Sports.