Liverpool v Stoke City: Where to Watch Live, Preview and Team News
By IBTimes Staff Reporter | August 17, 2013 2:52 PM EST
Liverpool face Stoke City at Anfield on Saturday, in the first game of the 2013/14 Premier League season. This is obviously an important game for both sides but for different reasons.
The Reds are eager for a strong start and a good season, after spending heavily this summer. Brendan Rodgers has a point to prove and will need to perform miracles to bring European football back to Merseyside.
The Potters have a point to prove too. They parted ways with Tony Pulis over the summer and have brought in former Blackburn and Manchester City boss Mark Hughes to help them shed the "rugby club" tag.
Where to Watch Live
Kick-off is scheduled for 12:45pm BST. Live coverage is on BT Sport 1. Radio commentary is on BBC Radio 5 live.
Liverpool had a busy first few months of the transfer window, with four new players arriving. Belgian international Simon Mignolet has replaced Spain's Pepe Reina as No 1 and Ivory Coast international Kolo Toure is the man chosen to replace club veteran Jamie Carragher in central defence. Aside from those two, young Spaniards Luis Alberto and Iago Aspas will reinforce the midfield and attack.
The big question still concerns Uruguayan Luis Suarez. The striker, after publically flirting with Arsenal, has apologised to the club and his team mates but Arsene Wenger is reportedly still interested in signing him. In either case, Suarez cannot play for the first six games of the new season; the result of a ban for biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic.
The Reds' pre-season has been excellent, with the only defeat coming to Scottish champions Celtic in their final game.
Meanwhile, Stoke fans will be eager for life under Hughes to start. Pulis led them well but there was a growing unease at the style of play the club displayed. The summer has seen only a few new arrivals, with American forward Juan Agudelo and Dutch left-back Erik Pieters the big name signings; Agudelo arrived on a free and Pieters cost €3.6m.
The American will not be available till 1 January, 2014 though as he will only join after his present club, New England Revolution, finish their Major League Soccer (MLS) season.
The transfer window also saw the departure of long throw specialist Rory Delap, news that will please Arsenal. Delap, 37, moves to Burton Albion.
What Coaches Say
Rodgers: "He's [Sturridge] a really outstanding talent and has all the tools to be a leading marksman at this level. We're hoping with a full season here with us, he can go and really showcase the qualities that everyone knows he has."
Hughes: "The perception is that the Stoke players were one-dimensional, that they could only play in a certain way and that was the top and bottom of their capabilities. It's plainly obvious to me, having worked with them for six weeks that they're more than capable of a lot more than that."
- Last Five (all competitions, most recent first): L W W W W
- Last Match: Celtic 1 - 0 Liverpool
- Last Five (all competitions, most recent first): D W W W L
- Last Match: Stoke City 0 - 0 Genoa
- Injured: N/A
- Doubtful: Daniel Agger and Martin Skrtel (knee), Daniel Sturridge (ankle)
- Suspended: Luis Suarez
- Probable Line-Up: Mignolet; Johnson, Agger, Touré, Enrique; Allen, Gerrard, Lucas; Aspas, Sturridge, Coutinho
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