Preview: Stoke City vs Liverpool; Sterling talk overshadows Gerrard's final Reds appearance
Match preview for the match at the Brittania Stadium
In a week that Raheem Sterling's agent decided to call Jamie Carragher “a kn*b”, I fear this match preview may be pretty pointless. As we spiral into an ever expanding transfer saga with one of our most talented, yet egotistical players, I seriously wish I could just skip the endless weeks of rumours ahead.
As we stand, Aidy Ward is saying Sterling will not sign, even for a billion quid a week or some bollocks. In the meantime, Brendan Rodgers is adamant that Sterling will see out his contract; either way it's going to be a crap situation for the club to be in. He leaves? We're all angry about the manner in which he left and the real possibility of him playing for a rival team. He stays? We're angry because he's been disrespectful and seems incapable of mending the wounds he has created.
I'm sick of it all to be honest, he's not even that good a player currently. He's clearly brimming with potential, but he only flourishes when he has stars around him. Most clubs who are after him will not support him like we do here at Liverpool, he won't start anywhere near as many games at some clubs in my opinion and he risks ruining a likely glittering career.
So, there's my two pence.
Injuries for Liverpool mean they are unable to call upon Jon Flanagan, Daniel Sturridge and Mamadou Sakho (late fitness test). Mario Balotelli has also picked up a knock but it's not like he'd get a start anyway.
For Stoke, manager Mark Hughes has Victor Moses and Bojan Krkic out, with Ireland also due to undergo a late fitness test after suffering a back problem.
The last time the two sides met was in November last year. Games against Stoke aren't usually that memorable, but I'll never forget this one when Glen Johnson appeared out of nowhere with a heroic 85th minute diving header whilst getting kicked in the head to secure Liverpool three points. It is easily the best thing Johnson has ever done.
The Reds’ last meeting at the Britannia was also one to remember as Liverpool won 5-3. An own goal from Ryan Shawcross kicked off proceedings for Brendan Rodgers' side followed by a Luis Suarez brace, a Steven Gerrard penalty and a goal from Daniel Sturridge.
Our record against Stoke on their home turf is a bit hit and miss and to be honest I can't see us winning tomorrow. I am hoping that Gerrard can stamp some magic on the game in his final appearance for the club, but I honestly think it'll be a draw tomorrow.
- Liverpool have scored just 51 goals this season, which is 48 less than they amassed last season.
- Stoke have lost just one of their last six matches in the league.
- Steven Gerrard will make his 710th appearance on Sunday against Stoke.
Usually no matter what has happened in the season, you manage to find at least some excitement for the final game, but I'm really struggling to be honest. I'll probably have a few bets on the game though so keep an eye on my Twitter.
Enjoy the match folks, wherever you are watching and pop back on Monday for the final match report of the season!