Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool have gotten back on track over the last two matches. They can keep the momentum going against a Stoke side who haven’t won in three matches. However, with a match against Manchester City looming just four days after, Klopp may decide to rest a few players.
Simon Mignolet has gotten two clean sheets in a row after returning to the lineup. Stoke aren’t a particularly strong attacking team so another clean sheet could be in order.
Nathaniel Clyne has been able to dominate his flank over the last few matches. He has been his typically solid self when defending but his crosses have become much more effective.
Joel Matip and Dejan Lovren may have a relatively easy match since Jonathan Walters only has one goal this season. Klopp may decide to keep Matip from playing until the match against Manchester City so either one of Ragnar Klavan or Lucas Leiva may play once again.
James Milner will continue to be as consistent as ever but he will have to watch out for whoever lines up across from him. Stoke have a few dangerous wingers but the best one may be Xherdan Shaqiri.
Adam Lallana, Jordan Henderson and Georginio Wijnaldum have to win control of the center of the pitch to neutralize Stoke’s most dangerous player, former Liverpool player, Joe Allen.
Sadio Mane won the derby on his derby debut and he is quickly becoming a beloved player for the Reds. With the Africa Cup of Nations looming, Klopp has to find the best way to make up for losing Mane’s speed on the wing.
Divock Origi is playing very well right now and is one of the more indispensable players for Klopp. He looks much more comfortable than he did earlier in the year. Another goal would make the competition much more fierce than it already is.
Roberto Firmino may move back to a more central role in a week or so if Philippe Coutinho recovers from his injury soon. He will be going against former Red Glen Johnson in this match but the Brazilian should have the upper leg.