stoke football players

Premier league betting previews: Stoke v Liverpool

Stoke are 11/2 to overturn a first-leg deficit and beat Liverpool at Anfield tonight to reach the Capital One Cup final.

Liverpool secured a 1-0 advantage at the Britannia Stadium but Stoke will not give up on their bid to reach a League Cup final for the first time since 1971/72 when they won the only major trophy in their history.

Boss Mark Hughes said on Monday: “It has been 40-odd years, and we remind the players of that because this is an opportunity to make your mark in the game. When that presents itself, you really have to grasp it.

“It is an opportunity we are not going to allow to pass by lightly. We are going to give it everything - it is a chance for everybody involved here to achieve something that hasn't been achieved for many years.

“And it is important to us because if we can get to a final, win a trophy, then that gives you a winning mentality - you've experienced that as a group and that will help you to continue to progress. It is a big part of what we want to do moving forward.”

Hughes admits it is a “big test” that awaits Stoke, whose last victory at Anfield came in 1959, but he believes his side will benefit from the fact that they are in a must-win scenario.

“We are behind in the tie and we know exactly what we have to do,” the Welshman said. “There is no grey area for us - we have to win. And I think when you are in that situation as a player or a manager, it clears the mind. The clarity of what we need to do is going to be an advantage I think.”

Liverpool are 32/25 to get the clean sheet which would guarantee their place in the final but after conceding four goals at Norwich at the weekend, odds of 9/10 for both teams to score may hold more appeal.
The Reds are 3/4 to win the second leg and are now the 6/5 favourites to win the competition as boss Jurgen Klopp looks to harness the power of Anfield to get his side through to their first final since they lost against Chelsea in the FA Cup in 2012.

“I've heard about the special atmosphere at Anfield in semi-finals and I am really looking forward to it,” he said. “Let's take the whole power of LFC and take it to the final.”

Nathaniel Clyne is a doubt for Liverpool after missing training with a knock on his knee. If he cannot recover in time, Jon Flanagan is set for his first start since May 2014 after two knee operations.

Dejan Lovren has returned to training but is not yet ready to start, while on-loan Steven Caulker is ineligible.

Stoke will be missing skipper Ryan Shawcross, with it being revealed on Monday that the defender is set to be sidelined for up to a month with a back injury.

Marko Arnautovic, who has been carrying a hamstring problem, was not part of the squad at the weekend and fellow forward Bojan Krkic was an unused substitute, but both are expected to return to the starting line-up.