World Football

Stoke City vs. Liverpool: Date, Time, Live Stream, TV Info and Preview

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 01:   Liverpool's Jordan Henderson and team mates celebrate after Daniel Agger has scored the first goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Hull City at Anfield on January 1, 2014 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistJanuary 12, 2014

For as good as Liverpool have been this season, a trip to Britannia Stadium to face Stoke City is no easy task for any team. The Potters have lost just once in their home digs, winning four and drawing five times.

Meanwhile, Liverpool have taken just 12 of a possible 30 points on the road this season. The Reds have been far more dangerous at Anfield. 

Of course, Liverpool will feel confident that their second-ranked attack (46 goals on the season) will find some joy against a Stoke defense that has conceded 30 goals. And the Potters will feel confident that they can bunker down and at least earn a point at home. It should be fun.

 

When: Sunday, January 12 at 11:40 a.m. ET

Sunday, January 12 at 4:40 p.m. GMT

WhereBritannia Stadium, Stoke-on-Trent, England

Watch: NBC Sports Network; NBC Sports Live Extra; Sky Sports 1 (U.K.); Sky Go (U.K.)

Odds: Liverpool (48.6 percent), Stoke City (24.6 percent) and draw (26.8 percent) according to Bloomberg Sports

 

Key Storylines

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 29:  Luis Suarez of Liverpool looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on December 29, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Julian Finney/Getty Images

Liverpool fans were surely thrilled when red-hot striker Luis Suarez signed a new contract with the club. They'll be even more pleased to hear his most recent comments, via ESPN:

I want to play football and I want to help Liverpool win as long as possible. I’m happy to be in the Premier League which is the best league in the world.  This is what matters to me.  

As for the financial aspects, you always want to be comfortable for the future because the career of a footballer is short.  I wish it wasn’t so short, but after having lived through some difficult times growing up I’m in a very comfortable situation today thanks to the good work and effort I’ve shown over the last few seasons.

"Today all I am thinking about is Liverpool.  I don’t want to create any controversy or anything.  I am more than happy with my life here and my wife and children are very happy as well.  We are very content with our life.  

I am with a spectacular club that I’ve always wanted to play for.  The team is playing well, I feel comfortable on the pitch, I feel comfortable despite what happens in other stadiums.  I love playing here in England and that is the only thing I think about.

All Suarez has done this season is score an astonishing 20 goals and five assists in 15 league matches, earning an 8.68 average match rating at WhoScored.com, easily the best in the Premier League. As always, he'll be the focal point against Stoke City.

While Liverpool will be without Daniel Agger for this contest, Mamadou Sakho and Steven Gerrard are expected to play and Daniel Sturridge has returned to full training. The Reds are getting healthy once again, just in time to stake their claim on a top-four finish in the second half of the season.

Stoke certainly won't be able to survive if this game evolves into an open, fast-paced shootout. They've scored just 19 goals on the season, and Charlie Adam leads the team with four tallies. The fact that Suarez has more goals in 15 matches than Stoke have in 20 should tell you everything you need to know about the disparity in firepower in this contest.

Still, Stoke are more than capable of playing the role of giant killer. They lost just 1-0 at Anfield against Liverpool. They've drawn against Manchester City and Everton and beaten Chelsea. They are not to be taken lightly at home.

 

Prediction

Only Norwich City have beaten Stoke at home, but given Suarez's form and the improving health of the Reds, it wouldn't come as much of a surprise if Liverpool made it two home losses. If they are to hold on to a top-four place in the Premier League, these are the types of matches they must at least take points from.

Expect them to get three. Stoke doesn't have the firepower to break Liverpool down, and few teams have been able to stifle Suarez this season. This game will be close, but Liverpool will escape with the points, winning 1-0.

 

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