Martin Skrtel v Peter Crouch
Peter Crouch is unique because of his height and it’s this height which allows him to dominate many Premier League defenders. Skrtel will need to get to grips with Crouch from the very first whistle because the Stoke striker can create a real problem for his former side. Crouch will be high on confidence after scoring both goals in Stoke’s win over Swansea City.
Steven Gerrard v Glen Whelan
Steven Gerrard is the more attacking out of these two players and he will be locked in a fierce battle with Stoke’s Glen Whelan. Whelan will have the task of making sure that the Liverpool captain gets no time on the ball as he hurries about the pitch looking to break up the play and stop attacks. If Gerrard can get the edge over his opponent and find space regularly then he could create a few chances or even score himself.
Joe Allen v Charlie Adam
This will be another key battle in the middle of the pitch which will go a long way to deciding this game. Allen controls the pace of the way Liverpool play but he will have to do some extra work to stop Charlie Adam from being able to spray passes all over the pitch as he likes. If Adam can get on the ball and feed the front men then Stoke will have a chance of stealing a win. Bear in mind Adam is playing against his former club who let him go after just one season so he will have some extra motivation to play well.
Raheem Sterling v Marc Wilson
Raheem Sterling has been one of the better players for Liverpool this season which is remarkable considering his age. Marc Wilson is one of the more versatile players in the Stoke City defence who can switch positions easily and he may be given the task of keeping an eye on the Liverpool winger who has been influential in Liverpool’s attacking play so far this season. If Sterling can find the space in and around the penalty box he should win this battle.
Luis Suarez v Ryan Shawcross
Ryan Shawcross defends in a very physical manner from the centre of the Stoke defence. Luis Suarez is Liverpool’s main attacking threat and he will be essential if the side are going to win this game. If Suarez can cope with a few heavy challenges then he will be able to play a role in Liverpool’s creative and attacking play. He is one of the best finishers at the club so don’t be surprised to see Shawcross try to rough him up.
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