Capital One Cup

Liverpool v Stoke: Potters to put up a better fight in second leg

Will key man Marko Arnautovic return to the Stoke team to face Liverpool?
Will key man Marko Arnautovic return to the Stoke team to face Liverpool?


"Stoke must score at Anfield, and that should create opportunities for Liverpool to counter. The home side's injury-hit backline kept a clean sheet in the first leg but in this do-or-die clash it's hard to imagine Stoke will be quite as bad second time around."

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Back Both Teams to Score @ 2.166/5 or better

Liverpool are in a good position to reach the Capital One Cup final but Stoke have no option but to attack the home side, and Joe Dyer thinks that should set up an exciting second leg...

Liverpool v Stoke
Tuesday January 26, 19:45
Live on Sky Sports 1


Liverpool

Wow! It's been a highly entertaining first few months of the Jurgen Klopp era, but when they write the story of the German's time at Anfield they'll need an entire chapter for Liverpool's last result - that incredible 5-4 win at Norwich. That game ended with enjoyable scenes as Klopp was mobbed by his team on the Carrow Road sidelines. Results have been mixed of late - four league games have been lost in the last two months - as the former Borussia Dortmund manager tinkers with his personnel. He looks to have dropped on one with Roberto Firmino though - the summer signing has scored four in his last three game with braces against Arsenal and Norwich.

First choice central defenders Martin Skrtel and Dejan Lovren are unlikely to make this fixture. The same is true of Philippe Coutinho and a trio of long-term injured forwards including Daniel Sturridge.


Stoke

There's no shame in losing to Leicester this season but Stoke's effort at the King Power Stadium was pretty weak. Mark Hughes has backed his side to put that 3-0 defeat behind them on Tuesday night and it wouldn't be a total shock where they to do so, given it has been a very encouraging season at the Britannia Stadium so far.

Key man Marko Arnautovic did not play against Leicester, supposedly due to a niggling injury, but he will surely line up at Anfield

Ryan Shawcross is a minor doubt due to a back injury.


Match Odds

Liverpool are the 1.84/5 favourites to win this, but before you pile on, remember that they don't need a victory on Tuesday night thanks to their 1-0 first leg advantage. Stoke are 5.59/2 to defeat the Reds. The draw can be backed at 3.814/5.

On value grounds you have to consider Stoke a big price, even if their current form is a little unconvincing. At relatively chunky odds they are a Cash Out option or a trade if nothing else.


Over/Under 2.5 Goals

Unders is the slight favourite in the market, and given both encounters between the two this season have finished in 1-0 wins for the Anfield side, that is understandable. Will this be so tight, however? The onus is on Stoke to attack as they have to win the game either to advance into the final or to take it to extra time. Whether they'll be able to do that is the big question. The visitors are blessed with a talented strikeforce but they come into the fixture on the back of two goalless games. In their favour, however, is a Liverpool defence that can be leaky.

If you're convinced it'll be an open game another option is to back Both Teams to Score at odds-against. Stoke must score at Anfield, and that should create opportunities for Liverpool to counter. The home side's injury-hit backline kept a clean sheet in the first leg but in this do-or-die clash it's hard to imagine Stoke will be quite as bad second time around.


Recommended Bets

Back Both Teams to Score @ 2.166/5 or better


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