Depending on results elsewhere, Liverpool could drop from second to fourth before they kick-off against Stoke City. But Anfield regulars needn’t worry because everything points to Jurgen Klopp’s men picking up a third win in succession and taking care of their own business.
Stoke may sit in mid-table, but each of the five wins achieved by Mark Hughes’ outfit have come against sides in the bottom half.
Only one of their away wins last season came against a side in the top-10, and that was Southampton.
They’re also winless this term against the big boys, and as for their record at Anfield…
Liverpool haven’t lost a home league game to Stoke since 1959, and the bookies make the hosts 2/7 to win once again.
An away win seems highly unlikely at 9/1, and the Potters’ defensive record against the top sides will give Liverpool’s marauding attack cause for optimism.
Arsenal put three past the Staffordshire outfit earlier this month, while Manchester City and Tottenham each smashed four past the Stoke backline.
Plus, after a ropey spell against Bournemouth and West Ham, Liverpool have bounced back to win two on the spin. So there may be plenty more value in backing the hosts on the handicap, with -1 at 8/11 and -2 available at 15/8.
After all, the Merseysiders have already won by three goals or more on four occasions.
Sadio Mane proved the derby winner last week against Everton, and the in-form forward is 9/2 to net the opening goal of the game here.
Meanwhile, Stoke’s Joe Allen will be making his first appearance against Liverpool, since leaving Anfield in the summer, and the Welsh midfielder has proved a revelation this season.
With five goals, Allen has already onto the best haul of his career, and plenty will fancy the 26-year-old to score against his old club at 9/2 anytime.
But with a trip to Chelsea looming on New Year’s Eve, Stoke’s joy this festive period may be in short supply.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing