Preview: Stoke City v Liverpool

Mohamed Salah, Liverpool; Premier League

Stoke will be desperate to get their Premier League campaign back on track when they welcome Liverpool to the Bet365 Stadium on Wednesday.

Premier League
29 November 2017
Gameweek 14
Kick-off: 22H00 local time
Venue: Bet365 Stadium

Referee: M. Atkinson
Assistants: L. Betts, S. Child
Fourth official: C. Kavanagh

Head-to-head summary:

TEAM MATCHES WIN DRAW LOSS

Stoke City 152 36 40 76
Liverpool 152 76 40 36

Previous encounter:

Stoke City 1-2 Liverpool (08/04/17) Premier League

Stoke City goalscorers: J. Walters (44')

Liverpool goalscorers: P. Coutinho (70'), R. Firmino (72')

Players to watch:

Xherdan Shaqiri has been the Potters' star performer this term, with three goals and five assists in 12 Premier League starts. The Switzerland international opened the scoring at Crystal Palace on Saturday with a fine solo goal, and he holds the key to Mark Hughes' side causing in upset in midweek.

Mohamed Salah is in red-hot form for the Merseyside giants and looks to be one of the Premier League's signings of the season. The Egypt international has bagged 10 goals in 13 top-flight outings, with six of those coming in his last five games.

Team form and manager quotes:

Hughes needs a result against the Reds to ease the mounting pressure, after picking up just three wins in 13 league matches. The 2-1 defeat to Palace at the weekend extended their winless run to three games and left the Staffordshire club three points above the relegation zone in 15th place.

The Welshman feels the team aren't far away from turning the corner, but highlighted mistakes as a major reason for their struggles in the new campaign.

"I thought we played well on Saturday but clearly the goals shape how people feel we did on the day. We need to cut the errors out," Hughes said in his pre-match press conference.

'The performance was good enough to take something from the game but in the end it wasn't. Once we address the errors we will be fine because the performances are good.

"There seems to have been negativity since the start of the season really, and we can only dissipate that by winning games.

"You have to take a considered approach at times and take the emotion out of what you are doing right and wrong. I don't think we are far from establishing ourselves in the top half."

Given Stoke's poor form, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp will be expecting nothing short of three points as he looks to keep in touch with the top four.

The 1-1 draw with Chelsea on Saturday halted a three-match winning streak for the Reds, who are just two points adrift of fourth-placed Arsenal in sixth spot.

Klopp might have won on his previous two trips to the Britannia, but the German is aware of the tough task awaiting his players on this occasion.

"When we were there last time the weather was good to be honest! This time it will be dark and probably windy," he told the press.

"Stoke, for sure, is a difficult place to go because it's a good side with a fantastic manager, a very experienced manager, and the team is very experienced as well.

"They live for moments like this; these home games, floodlit, atmosphere. It's nice, but we are not there to enjoy any atmosphere or suffer under any atmosphere, we go there to get the points, that’s 100 per cent clear and that's what we have to show."

Team news:

Ramadan Sobhi is likely to be fit for the visit of the Merseysiders, despite taking a knock in the loss at Selhurst Park this past weekend.

Saido Berahino has yet to break his duck in front of goal this term, but Hughes could recall the striker after being left out of the squad for the trip to the capital.

Geoff Cameron (concussion) and Jack Butland (finger) remain the only absentees for the hosts.

Klopp, meanwhile, will welcome back Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino, who were both rested against the Blues last time out.

Georginio Wijnaldum is also in contention to return to the starting line-up, although Dejan Lovren faces a late fitness test on a back injury.

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