Stoke City vs. Liverpool (Kick-off: 19.45 GMT, Dec. 26th)

Liverpool and Stoke City go head to head in a Boxing Day match of the Premier League on Wednesday as they look to build on their thumping win over Fulham in the last weekend with many of their players finding their goal scoring touches as Brendan Rodgers looks for his side to maintain their momentum and push for a finish as higher up the table as possible and for that, they will need to make full use of the busy Christmas period and get into a rhythm. Liverpool played perhaps their match of the season as they thumped the hapless Londoners 4-0 at home, with Stewart Downing scoring one and assisting another in a brilliant display and ending all the calls for his head over the last one year.

Moreover, the match also marked the return of marquee Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez to his very assisting best as he toyed with the Fulham defense whenever he got the ball. Liverpool were unlucky not to score two or three more during the match and the fact that they kept a clean sheet also makes good for the confidence of the team. Liverpool has been very much a hit and miss side this season, brilliant in one game and absolutely rubbish in the other, but if Rodgers can get some consistency in the side, this Liverpool side is good enough to be in the top six of the Premier League.

Stoke City, on the other hand, is the traditional bores of the Premier League with their long ball tactics being the bane of many a side throughout their presence in the Premier League. Their last match against Tottenham Hotspur showed how boring but brilliantly effective they can actually be, and although they failed to score a goal for themselves, they didn’t concede either and for the umpteenth time this season, played out a goal less draw in the league.

Maybe the Potters play extremely boring football but the fact that they have been able to stop many of the big guns of the league goes to show how a small provincial club can hold their own in the big league on a small budget, with the rejects from major academies of the country coming to the fore for Tony Pulis’s side. The match at the Britannia Stadium will not be one to watch as a spectacle but it might just be a brilliant contest.

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