There will be some familiar faces in the lineups on Sept. 10th when Liverpool travels to Stoke for their English Premier League clash at Britannia Stadium. This is because striker Craig Bellamy has recently be reacquired by Liverpool and Stoke just picked up former Liverpool striker Peter Crouch from Tottenham. The 30-year-old Crouch becomes Stoke’s record signing as he was bought for £10 million. Ironically, Bellamy played up front with Crouch while the pair were at Liverpool and Stoke attempted to sign him last year.
Stoke also added a couple of other decent players at the transfer deadline as Wilson Palacios joined the club from Spurs along with Cameron Jerome. It’s unclear which players will start, but whoever gets the nod could give Liverpool some problems as they’ve never won an away game at the Britannia in league competition. They’ve lost once and drawn the other two times there.
Ninth-place Stoke has gotten off to a great start this season and are undefeated in EPL and Europa League action. They have five points from three league games, being a win and two draws. They will give late fitness tests to Rory Delap and Marc Wilson as they’re both suffering hamstring problems.
Liverpool has two wins and a draw after three games for seven points so far. They looked sluggish in the season-opening home draw against Sunderland, but followed up with two impressive wins against Bolton and Arsenal. They also beat Exeter in the Carling Cup.
Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish has started to play games with his squad though after improving it immensely by signing the likes of Andy Carroll, Luis Suarez, Stewart Downing, and Charlie Adam over the past year. Carroll usually sits on the bench and now Bellamy also has to find some playing time.
After spending a fortune on Carroll, (35 million pounds) it’s ridiculous to keep him on the sidelines and it won’t be long before the big centre-forward becomes unhappy. Carroll needs to play up front with Suarez as often as possible, with Bellamy being used as a substitute. Liverpool will still be without captain Steven Gerrard, but midfielder Adam could be back along with defender Glen Johnson, as they’re both back in training after suffering injuries. Martin Kelly could also miss the game.
Liverpool has the talent to beat Stoke, but the talent needs to be on the pitch not on the bench. Stoke will be pumped by their new signings and this could result in a match with a few goals. A 2-2 draw could be the mend result.
Sportsbook William Hill has the odds of a Stoke win listed at 23/10 with a Liverpool victory at 5/4 and a draw at 11/5.