Liverpool and Stoke will bid to put weekend defeats behind them as they prepare to meet in the 1st leg of their Capital One semi-final clash at the Britannia Stadium (KO 20:00).
The Reds put in a poor display as they lost 2-0 away to West Ham United while the Potters went down 2-1 to West Bromwich Albion.
For Liverpool, its been an indifferent start under the new leadership of Jurgen Klopp, and with Stoke in good form coming into this game tonight, there may be further heartache for Liverpool fans.
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Liverpool will once again be without striker Daniel Sturridge.
The England man suffered a minor setback in training in his quest to overcome a hamstring injury and will remain on Merseyside to continue his rehabilitation.
The absence of Sturridge along with Danny Ings and Divock Origi means under-pressure Christian Benteke will lead the line.
The forward was ineffective in the loss to West Ham and despite big winners over Leicester City and Sunderland over Christmas has yet to fully win over the Liverpool faithful.
Jordan Henderson and James Milner also miss out while Jon Flanagan is not yet ready for a return to the first team. Lucas, Emre Can and Joe Allen are vying for the two midfield positions while Brad Smith and Connor Randall will hope for run-outs in defence after impressive cameo’s this season.
Stoke meanwhile have been boosted by the news that Geoff Cameron is available. The USA defender was sent off in the weekend loss to West Bromwich Albion but had his red card rescinded and is now available.
Stoke are one point and two places below Liverpool in the table and have already beaten Manchester City and Manchester United on their home patch without the concession of a goal.
In Marko Arnautovic and Bojan (12 goals and 4 assists combined this season) they have two of the current form players in the league, while Xherdan Shaqiri appears to be living up to his potential if his recent display against Everton is anything to go by.
The three will be the main threat to the Liverpool backline.
There has been plenty of money for the Potters overnight, although they still offer plenty of value at 2/1 considering the recent fortunes of both these sides.
With Liverpool having only one fit striker, with Christian Benteke on the sidelines, the signs do not look good for Liverpool and the Reds may have to contend with a disadvantage as they return to Anfield for the second leg.