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Stoke vs Liverpool preview

Stoke City
vs.
Liverpool

Britannia Stadium

10th January 2009

5.30pm

Stoke welcome Liverpool to the Brit and a repeat of the dogged goalless draw will be a bonus to Potters' fans now that the Reds top the table.

Vital Quotes:

Stoke fans are now quite used to Tony Pulis' knack of signing 'failed' players on the cheap and then making them shine again - Ade Akinbiyi and Ricardo Fuller are just two recent examples. He's certainly hoping that his magic will work on Matthew Etherington but whether they'll be happy to be regarded as stray dogs is another thing!

Pulis compared the spending capabilities of the clubs at the top and the bottom with the difference between dogs at Crufts and Battersea Dogs Home: 'No disrespect but we are at a club where we can't deal in the top bracket of players we would like to bring here. We are always working below that.

'We are not at Crufts, we are at Battersea Dogs Home. We are looking for strays. We are looking for people who have gone astray with the aim of bringing them back.'

Well, Tone - what do they also say? 'A dog is for life - not just Christmas?' Be careful who you push out of the door this month.

Stoke City Team News:

Stoke have Fuller suspended for the second of three matches. Cresswell returns from his one match ban and Abdoulaye Faye had his one match ban overturned after the FA wrongly attributed one yellow card to his namesake, Amdy Faye.

New signing, Matthew Etherington should start. Dave Kitson may be be press-ganged back into action with the aid of a pain-killing injection and we'll have to wait and see if Liam Lawrence is regarded as fit to start. Salif Diao is another doubt and will face a late fitness test, but he will be keen to play against his old club. Mamady Sidibe is still injured.

Player to watch: Matthew Etherington

All eyes will be on the newest signing in the Stoke squad. The 27 year old former Hammers and Spurs player appears keen to try and put the bright lights of London (and it's distractions) behind him and rebuild his footballing career.

As long as no one takes him 'up Hanley' to the Bingo he should be ok.

Liverpool Team News:

Striker Fernando Torres is set to play after recovering from injury for the first time since November.

Alvaro Arbeloa (hamstring) is out, as is Xabi Alonson, but Javier Mascherano returns.

Reds' Boss, Rafa Benitez is also likely to be back on the bench for the first time since undergoing a minor op to remove some kidney stones before Christmas.

Player to watch: Steven Gerrard

The inspirational skipper has let his squeaky clean image slip over the past couple of weeks with his arrest in a Southport nightclub, but he still remains a potent weapon on the pitch.

Match Facts & Stats

The goalless draw at Anfield back in September may have upset the purists and pundits, but another performance like that will be enough for me.

Next Fixtures:

Sat 17th January: Chelsea (away) kick-off: 3pm
Tues 27th January: Spurs (away) kick-off: 8pm


Writer:Chris Baldwin
Date:Friday January 9 2009
Time: 9:15PM

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Comments

0
hard few games coming up for you boys! oh well best of luck next season in the championship
boros_finest
09/01/2009 21:18:00
0
come on boys - please beat them!
merlin
09/01/2009 22:11:00
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League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
C Chelsea 38 30 3 5 93 52
2 Spurs 38 26 8 4 86 60
3 Man City 38 23 9 6 78 41
4 Liverpool 38 22 10 6 76 36
5 Arsenal 38 23 6 9 75 33
6 Man Utd 38 18 15 5 69 25
7 Everton 38 17 10 11 61 18
8 Southampton 38 12 10 16 46 -7
9 AFC Bournemouth 38 12 10 16 46 -12
10 WBA 38 12 9 17 45 -8
11 West Ham 38 12 9 17 45 -17
12 Leicester City 38 12 8 18 44 -15
13 Stoke 38 11 11 16 44 -15
14 Crystal Palace 38 12 5 21 41 -13
15 Swansea 38 12 5 21 41 -25
16 Burnley 38 11 7 20 40 -16
17 Watford 38 11 7 20 40 -28
R Hull City 38 9 7 22 34 -43
R Middlesbrough 38 5 13 20 28 -26
R Sunderland 38 6 6 26 24 -40
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