Liverpool vs Stoke City
| Saturday, April 28th |
Premier League | Anfield
12:30 PM GMT/07:30 AM EST
After a thrilling European night under the Anfield lights this past Tuesday where the Reds thumped Roma 5 - 2 during the first leg of their Champions League final, they take on relegation-threatened Stoke who have not won a game since January. The Potters have gone 11 games without a win, while Liverpool are on an eight game unbeaten run.
Paul Lambert has yet to lose at Anfield as a manager, having won three matches and drawn two. Mohamed Salah is one goal away from becoming the outright top scorer in a 38 match campaign in the Premier League.
Liverpool hold the longest unbeaten home run by one team over another against Stoke, having not lost any of their last 54 top-flight home matches against the Potters with 43 wins and 11 draws. Stoke have conceded the first goal in 21 of the Premier League matches this season, while Liverpool have scored the first goal in 24 of theirs.
Projected Liverpool Lineup (4-3-3)
Karius; Gomez, Klavan, Van Dijk, Moreno; Alexander-Arnold, Wijnaldum, Henderson; Salah, Firmino, Ings
Sadio Mané has a slight injury but may feature in the game tomorrow as Klopp described it as “not that serious” in today’s press conference, while Adam Lallana (who has returned to Melwood after his stint at Cape Town’s Sport Science Institute to speed up his recovery) and Emre Can (back injury) are not expected to be available for selection. Joel Matip will be out for the remainder of the season as he recovers from a thigh injury; and after suffering a knee injury during the Roma match on Tuesday, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is also out for the long-term. Nathaniel Clyne could return after appearing on the bench as a substitute on Tuesday.
Konstantinos Stafylidis is Stoke’s long-term absentee with a rib injury while Glen Johnson is struggling with match fitness after sustaining a groin injury and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting is also out with an injury to the groin.
What the Managers Had to Say
Jürgen Klopp: We have not a lot of time between the games so I prefer to wait until the last second until I have to make the decisions. That’s about the boys who have a few little things [fitness issues] from the [Roma] game. It’s not about resting players or whatever, we all know that we are quite short of options in a few departments. It’s the longer break of the intense week, we play Tuesday and Saturday then Wednesday again so that’s always OK from a recovery point of view, it’s always good so we could play the same team like we played against Roma if the players are available, that’s the only thing.
But there will not be 1,000 changes because we don’t have the opportunity and because it’s a Premier League game and it’s very important, obviously, for both sides. So there’s nothing to think about about ‘resting’, it’s only to line up a strong side and try everything to win the game.
Paul Lambert: There is an enormous amount of pressure on us, but we have got no other option than to thrive under it. We are in a situation where we really need to win all three of our final fixtures to have a chance - we certainly have to win two definitely, just to give ourselves a glimmer of hope. Personally I love the pressure, if you don’t enjoy that side of things then I think you are in the wrong game.
Every player, manager has to work under pressure - that is the nature of the business we are in.
As a group we won’t be affected by it. We all know what is at stake. We aren’t frightened by it, we are going to embrace this and give it our best shot.
Referee: Andre Marriner Assistants: Richard West, Simon Long Fourth official: Lee Mason
Kickoff is set for 12:30 PM GMT/07:30 AM EST tomorrow, and television listings for the match can be found on LiveSoccerTV. In the meantime, we’ll be keeping you updated with all the build-up to the game, including team news as it’s released, our live matchday thread, and post-match recaps from The Liverpool Offside staff. If you want to join the discussion, sign up for an SB Nation account to have your say on the action as it happens.