Stoke City vs. Liverpool: Key players to watch


Stoke City vs. Liverpool: Key players to watch

Picture: Дмитрий Голубович

The Premier League returns today with Stoke City hosting Liverpool at the Bet365 Stadium. Both teams will aim to go to bed with all the three points in the bag.

The Stoke side has had an up-and-down season so far and are occupying a position not too far from the relegation zone following their 2-1 defeat to Crystal Palace on Saturday. 

Liverpool, on the other hand, will be hoping for a win to boost their season aspirations after their recent games, against Sevilla and Chelsea, ended in a stalemate that looked more of like a defeat.

We take a look at the key players for both teams:

Xherdan Shaqiri

ShaqiriPicture: Ludovic Peron, cc by-sa 3.0

The Swiss international may have understandably struggled at Stoke City after his witch to the Premier League from the Bundesliga, but he seems to have taken his share of time needed for adaptation.

All that has changed now as Shaquiri has spearheaded the Stoke City attack with aplomb this season - three goals and five assists in 13 games. The diminutive forward extended his fine form against Crystal Palace by scoring the only goal for his team and winning the man of the match accolade.

Apart from the intimidating crowd at the Bet365, Liverpool will have to mind Shaquiri too.

Philippe Coutinho

The Liverpool playmaker must make his mark if the visitors are to snatch all the points away from home.

Jurgen Klopp’s men may have managed to get the job done without him for most of the time, owing to the inspirational displays of Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah, but they have certainly looked better with him on the pitch.

Courtinho's form has not been aided by talks linking him to Barcelona as he is yet to hit the heights of last season.

This is not to say he hasn't done enough. He pulled notable performances this term, against Newcastle United away and Spartak Moscow in the UEFA Champions League.

His curling free-kick against Leicester City in the 2-3 win at the King Power Stadium is magic which Liverpool will require again at the Bet365 Stadium.

Eric Maxim Choupo-MotingPicture: Daniel Kraski

The Cameroonian forward  will be keen to show his stuff against the big boys following his move from Schalke 04 to the Premier League in the summer.

Choupo-Moting who will have to swallow the fact that he will not be playing in the World Cup in the wake of Cameroon being eliminated from the Group of Death in which they finished third behind Nigeria and Zambia.

Liverpool, however, will provide him with another opportunity to make his mark. 

Mohamed Salah


The imperial form of Salah made the likes of Eden Hazard tremble with fear just last week. So it should. The forward has scored nine goals in his last eight games, including braces against Maribor, Southampton and West Ham United.

Salah was also on target against former club Chelsea on Saturday as he coolly put a brilliant free-flowing team move beyond Belgium shot-stopper Thibaut Courtois.

You can bet your knickers he is the one to watch.



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Premier League 2017/18

# Team P GD Pts
1 Manchester City FC 38 79 100
2 Manchester United FC 38 40 81
3 Tottenham Hotspur FC 38 38 77
4 Liverpool FC 38 46 75
5 Chelsea FC 38 24 70
6 Arsenal FC 38 23 63
7 Burnley FC 38 -3 54
8 Everton FC 38 -14 49
9 Leicester City FC 38 -4 47
10 Newcastle United FC 38 -8 44
11 Crystal Palace FC 38 -10 44
12 AFC Bournemouth 38 -16 44
13 West Ham United FC 38 -20 42
14 Watford FC 38 -20 41
15 Brighton & Hove Albion 38 -20 40
16 Huddersfield Town 38 -30 37
17 Southampton FC 38 -19 36
18 Swansea City FC 38 -28 33
19 Stoke City FC 38 -33 33
20 West Bromwich Albion FC 38 -25 31