Brendan

76 days. On Saturday it will be 76 days since the 2014-15 season ended and aren’t we glad its back! Our tipster Steven Steen looks at the repeat of the final fixture of the 2014-15 season in which Stoke put 6 past Liverpool. 

 

 

To say pre-season has been a bit of a mixed bag for both teams is probably a bit of an understatement. Stoke will enter the game at the Britannia with just 2 wins from their 6 pre-season games (with one of the losses being on penalties to Everton). However, 2 of these defeats were to Cologne and Porto so I wouldn’t read too much into this.

Liverpool, on the other hand have won 5 from 6 matches and drawing the other with a select Malaysia XI. It should be mentioned the quality of opposition Liverpool have faced has been comparitively weak, with 2 teams from Australia and away matches at HJK Helsinki and Swindon so I wouldn’t be rushing to wager my mortgage on Liverpool in this match.

There seems no major injury concerns for either team though it looks like Bojan will not be risked from the start which is a blow for Stoke. The loan signing of Marco Van Ginkel to replace Nzonzi and the free transfer of Ibrahim Afelley seem very astute business from Mark Hughes. It will also be interesting to see whether Roberto Firmino can replicate his very impressive form for Hoffenheim in the Premier league and whether he can supply Benteke with enough passes to get the goals Liverpool fans crave from him.

Astonishingly, the last 4 matches between the two teams at the Britannia have produced 20 goals, and I fully expect the same again on Sunday.

Over 2.5 goals – 11/10 Paddy Power.

 

I’d also wager a small bet on a Stoke player to bag the first goal as the first 15 minutes should be pretty frenetic and Stoke fans will be in full voice. As Stoke play with 2 wide players and 1 striker I’m going to opt with Hughes starting Diouf, and him to score the 1st goal of the game

Mame Biram Diouf – First Goalscorer – 9/1 Boylesports

 

And finally taking into consideration the fact it is their first home game of the season, and that Liverpool would happily take a draw in what is always a tricky away side for any team, that seems the best of the three. 

Draw – 12/5 Ladbrokes

 

3 Top Tips:

Over 2.5 goals in the match – 11/10 Paddy Power

Mame Biram Diouf – First Goalscorer – 9/1 Boylesports

Draw – 12/5 Ladbrokes

 

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