Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Liverpool vs Stoke City Preview

Article first published as Liverpool vs Stoke City Preview on Technorati.
Liverpool face Stoke in another Must win for a push up the Table. Suarez to Make Reds Debut.

by Rhydon Atzenhoffer
February 2, 2011

Spirits will be riding high today as Luis Suarez looks set for his Liverpool debut in front of the Kop. The Reds will play host to Stoke City after a protracted Transfer Sage involving Fernando Torres' departure to Chelsea and the arrival of both Suarez and Andy Carroll.

Carroll is still several matches away from his debut as the new Liverpool No. 9 having taken over the jersey that was made so famous by Ian Rush, Robbie Fowler, and also anti-hero Fernando Torres. The later looks to have burned any bridges he had left at the club with his comments over the past several days. Carroll has been confident in his interviews since the move telling that he was, "confident he would score goals for the club."

Carroll also commented on what he would bring to the club, "I'll bring as much as I can to the team - I'll score goals, create chances, hold up the ball and just try my best really."

Luis Suarez has stated nothing but desire and delight at being a Liverpool player. The new No. 7, last held by Robbie Keane and Harry Kewell, but brought to fame under the names of Kevin Keegan and current manager Kenny Dalglish, has made more fans than Torres, as he has heaped praise on his arrival to Liverpool saying, "My ambitions for the future are to do my very best for Liverpool, to try to learn more about English football and to become a champion."

"Liverpool is a very famous club - the most famous club in England - and I watched Liverpool and English football as a boy."

"It's a dream to be able to come and play here."

The humility that the young Uruguayan has shown to his former club Ajax as well has seen his former manager, Rik van den Boog, return the favor,

"Luis is going to bring the place alive because he is a street fighter," Van den Boog stated."

"He arrived here with a decent reputation but he was not a big player then. In the dressing room he soon stood up and became a leader. That's why he was special. When he goes on his travels to South America he always rushes back. Suarez is back on the training pitch the next morning when he has just flown around half the world for a game for Uruguay. He immediately puts his focus on his club again. We'll remember him for his incredible amount of goals and what he has done for the club."

As well as Suarez looking to be welcomed into the squad tonight, Liverpool vice-captain Jaime Carragher looks to make his return to first team action for the first time under Kenny Dalglish. For someone with Liverpool Red flowing through his veins as much as Carragher, it will be interesting to see how much of his heart and soul is on the pitch tonight after being out for three months with a shoulder injury that required surgery.

Stoke dealt with the moves of two front men as well as Tuncay Sunli moved on to VfL Wolfsburg and Eidur Gudjohnson went on Loan to Fulham to make room for the official arrival of former Liverpool wide man Jermaine Pennant whom converted his loan from Real Zaragoza, to a permanent deal with the English Club and the Loan arrival of John Carew from Aston Villa whom was moved to allow for the arrival of Darren Bent at Villa Park.

Both clubs are in need of three points with the Reds hoping for a renewed vigor with the buzz that has been created by the new owners that there are truly here to bring Liverpool back to glory. A win would see the Merseyside club 2 points from tying with sixth placed Sunderland, and still 9 points off of fourth placed Chelsea. Stoke would see themselves leapfrog Liverpool by a point and take over seventh place.

Tony Pulis and his Potters will be without the service of defensive starlet Ryan Shawcross, whom was tipped as a Liverpool target by some during the window but nothing came to life, as he is still suspended. Marc Wilson and Danny Collins both look fit and set to rejoin the first team while Danny Higginbottom will be sidelined with a hamstring problem and Andy Wilkinson with back issues.

Pulis believes this will be a different Liverpool side than the one that his team beat 2-0 in November at the Britannia Stadium. He made the following comments on Stoke City's official website,""Liverpool are playing with a lot more confidence, a lot more willingness to do what they are capable of as a group of players under Kenny and they have certainly turned things around."

"Things will be different this time, but what we have to do is go there and give it our best shot. We know it's going to be tough."

Possible Line-Ups

Liverpool - Reina; Kelly, Carragher, Agger, Johnson, Lucas, Kuyt, Gerrard, Meireles, Maxi, Suarez.

Stoke City - Begovic; Wilkinson, Huth, Faye, Collins, Pennant, Whitehead, Delap, Etherington, Carew, Jones.

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