Stoke vs. Liverpool Game Guide: Starting Lineups, Matchup Breakdown, Depth Chart

Neri SteinAnalyst IIIFebruary 9, 2017

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - AUGUST 27:  Luis Suarez of Liverpool with the ball during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Bolton Wanderers at Anfield on August 27, 2011 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

The Premier League starts up again this weekend after the international break, and Liverpool travel to Stoke on Saturday with kickoff set for 10 a.m. EST. 

Liverpool have seven points out of nine from the first three games and currently sit third in the table behind Manchester United and Manchester City. Stoke are in ninth place with five points. 

The Britannia has not been a happy stomping ground for the Reds in recent years. Stoke were 2-0 winners last year, when Roy Hodgson was still in charge, and the previous two encounters at Stoke ended in draws. 

Liverpool's away form has vastly improved under Kenny Dalglish, however, and it will be a very different Liverpool side than last year.

Jose Enrique and Stewart Downing have blended into the side almost seamlessly, while the young Jordan Henderson continues to improve. Charlie Adam sustained a hip injury while with Scotland over the weekend but has not been ruled out of the clash at Stoke.

Captain Steven Gerrard, meanwhile, is still rehabbing a groin injury, and right-backs Glen Johnson and Martin Kelly are both struggling with injury, though Kelly is possible for the weekend. 

With Raul Meireles going to Chelsea on transfer deadline day and Alberto Aquilani loaned out again, Liverpool will very much be hoping on Adam being healthy enough to start.

However, Jay Spearing and Jonjo Shelvey both received plenty of playing time last season under Dalglish, and one could very well get the start Saturday.

Luis Suarez and Dirk Kuyt formed a good understanding for one another last season, and Suarez will be hoping to score in his fourth game of the season.  

England and £35-million striker Andy Carroll could once again find himself starting on the bench for Liverpool, as Dalglish has shown a tendency to go slightly more conservative on the road. 

However, a big aerial presence like Carroll could give Stoke a taste of their own medicine. 

Liverpool's newest signing, Uruguayan centre-back Sebastian Coates could very well see some time, as his 6'6" stature and physical nature would be very useful against Rory Delap's javelin-like throw-ins. 

Delap's unique weapon could be more of a threat from now on with two new strikers to aim at. 

Tony Pulis was very busy on the transfer deadline day last Wednesday, signing Cameron Jerome and former Liverpool man Peter Crouch. 

Combining Delap's throws with Crouch's towering head could be key to Stoke's success this season—if they can figure it out. 

Pulis may elect not to start all to start both of his new weapons in the first game, but a good few days of practice could change that.

Even with Kenwyne Jones and Ricardo Fuller as other options at front, the focus for Stoke will be with Ryan Shawcross and Robert Huth at the back trying to contain the explosive Suarez.  

Keep it here on the Bleacher Report World Football page for more news and updates on this match and many more.