Preview: Liverpool vs. Stoke City

Steven Gerrard
© PA Photos
Liverpool will hope to be more clinical in front of goal as they host Stoke City at Anfield.

Liverpool will expect a tough encounter as they go head to head against Stoke City at Anfield on Saturday.

Kenny Dalglish's side will feel buoyant following their 1-0 win over Manchester City in the first leg of the Carling Cup semi-final at the Etihad Stadium last night.

While spirits in the Reds camp will be on the up following a difficult few months off the pitch, Liverpool's mid-week clash and inconsistent home form could serve as a disadvantage as the Potters arrive on Merseyside on the back of two straight victories.

Steven Gerrard is expected to start for the Reds after regaining full fitness from a lengthy absence, while Charlie Adam is likely to return to the midfield, causing Jay Spearing, who limped off against City, to make way.

It is expected that Andy Carroll will continue to lead the line for the Reds, despite a continuous goal drought. However, Craig Bellamy could find himself on the bench with Dirk Kuyt returning to the side.

Tony Pulis is likely to ring the changes from the side that defeated Gillingham 3-1 in the FA Cup last weekend, with Peter Crouch expected to return to the Potters starting XI.

Current form:

Liverpool: WWDDWL
Stoke City: WWLDDW

Possible lineups:

Liverpool: Reina; Enrique, Skrtl, Agger, Johnson; Downing, Adam, Gerrard, Henderson; Kuyt, Carroll

Stoke City: Sorensen; Woodgate, Shawcross, Huth, Wilson; Shotton, Whelan, Whitehead, Etherington; Walters, Crouch

Sports Mole says: 1-0

Dimitar Berbatov
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