Liverpool and Stoke City both prepared for their upcoming Capital One Cup tie in similarly poor ways, losing away from home against teams beginning with West.
The Reds looked limp as they trudged to a 2-0 defeat at the hands of West Ham, while the Potters were victims of a late Johnny Evans winner in a 2-1 loss to West Brom.
Coming into their semi-final clash on the back of these setbacks isn’t the only thing they have in common as both are in identical recent form.
Before their defeats, both had managed consecutive wins off the back of a loss that followed a draw, but it is how they differ that will decide how this game goes.
Jurgen Klopp’s side have failed to score in their last two defeats, while they only managed to score twice across the wins over Leicester City and Sunderland.
Conversely, Stoke have only failed to score once in their last five games and managed to find the net eight times in that run, including four against Everton.
Therefore, given the contrasting luck in front of goal between the two, the wisest bet is backing Stoke to win to nil at 15/4.
To give further support to the idea that Mark Hughes’ men look set to come good on their 2/1 price of victory, the record when these two play at the Britannia Stadium is heavily in the Potters’ favour.
In their last four meetings at the ground the hosts have scored 12 times and let in eight, winning half of those encounters.
When looking for someone who could make an impact in this match you should look no further than Jonathan Walters.
The Republic of Ireland international has scored four times in Liverpool’s last three visits to the Potteries and his goal against the Baggies in the last set of fixtures show that he’s back on scoring form.
You can get odds of 8/1 that the 32-year-old will open the scoring and this is the best bet when looking to take advantage of Ladbrokes’ double odds first goalscorer promotion*.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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