Stoke City v Liverpool: Match Preview

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Stoke City v Liverpool
Carling Cup Fourth Round
Britannia Stadium
Wednesday, October 26th: 19:45

Team News

Jermaine Pennant is unlikely to face his former club as he nurses a hamstring problem, while Danny Higginbotham could play for the first time since April.

Jonathan Woodgate's three game absence with a calf injury could come to an end as he seeks to return to lead a Stoke City defence that has conceded just four goals in nine league outings.

Liverpool will be able to call upon midfielder Lucas for the trip to the Britannia Stadium, while Daniel Agger's brief appearance against Norwich City puts him in contention to feature.


Dalglish demands ruthlessness in attack

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish is urging his players to take their chances when his side travel to Stoke City in the Carling Cup fourth round.

September's Barclays Premier League meeting, although won by Stoke, was dominated by the Reds with Luis Suarez guilty of missing opportunities to snatch a point.

The Uruguayan was found wanting in front of goal again against Norwich on Saturday, as The Reds suffered a second successive draw, and Dalglish hopes his strikers can hit their straps in the League Cup.

“If we can create that many chances, or half that many chances, in a lot of games we’ll score four or five,” said Dalglish.

“But it’s all very well and good creating the chances, we’ve got to make the goalkeeper work a little bit harder as well.”

“[The players] are not going to get into the habit of accepting a 1-1 draw at home, and they also won’t accept not working the goalkeeper harder than what we did on Saturday when we get into good positions,” Dalglish added.

“Their disappointment is pleasant for us to see because at the end of the day, they want to win games the same as we do.

“For us, the most important thing is their attitude and approach to the game because they’ve got tonnes of ability.”

Liverpool lead the way with seven League Cup wins, and with comfortable victories over Exeter City and Brighton & Hove Albion the club look destined to continue their impressive relationship with the trophy they last won in 2003.

While The Reds will attempt to juggle their cup run with trying to qualify for the Champions League, Stoke have their own Europa Legaue commitments to deal with, but that isn't stopping Tony Pulis from dreaming of another trip to Wembley.

The Potters were narrowly beaten by Manchester City in last season's FA Cup final, and the boss is targeting another run this season.

"I don't think our football club will win the Premier League in the next few years," Pulis admitted.

"So our biggest aim is to stay in the league, that's our priority, but what we also want to do is try to do well in the cup competitions.

"That includes the Europa League, the FA Cup and the Carling Cup.

"We had a great time last year, going to Wembley, it was absolutely fantastic. It galvanised everybody, it galvanised the city, it galvanised the club.

"So we will do our best in all the cup competitions.

"We've got a tough game against Liverpool, but we'll pick a team to try to win that game. We'll do our damnedest, that's what we are trying to achieve."

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