Stoke have been tough adversaries for Liverpool in recent years. In the last five home matches Stoke have had against Liverpool, Liverpool have lost four and drawn only once. The omen looks equally as bad as Stoke have only lost once at home. They have also defeated Chelsea, drawn with Everton and Manchester City. To make things even worse, Liverpool's away record is not the greatest either.
If their are any comforts for Liverpool fans to take, it is that their record against Stoke coincides with their slump in recent seasons; furthermore Manchester United have also beaten Stoke away. Now Liverpool are strong again and considering United defeated Stoke, Liverpool will feel they have every chance of a victory.
In their favour lies five things:
1) Oussama Assaidi is ineligible due to being a loanee from Liverpool - he has been Stoke's best player in recent and his goals against Chelsea and Everton have helped his parent club.
2) Asmir Begovic is still injured - He has been one of the best goalkeepers in the league for several years.
3) Robert Huth is out - since his injury, Stoke have conceded 16 goals in 8 games - compared to 14 in the 12 games Huth played this is bad record and goes to show how much they have missed the giant defender.
4) Daniel Sturridge is back - he is unlikely to play the full 90 mins but against Everton he showed what he can do when half-fit.
5) Gerrard is likely to start and with that comes in his set-piece skills. Liverpool have benefited immensely from them and they have the players to punish Stoke.
Even with these permutations Liverpool will find Stoke supremely difficult to defeat. Though with Stoke weak defensively and Liverpool's attacking threats, I would not be surprised if they snuck a victory.
Stoke City 0-1 Liverpool