Match date: 05 Jan 2016
| Sport: Football
| Competition: England Other Football
| Stake: 6/10
| Pick: 2 (0 AH)
| Match result:
0-1 - Won
Stoke City awaiting Liverpool in Capital One Cup semi finals. So far they managed to eliminate lower ranked Luton, Fulham, Sheffield and toughest opponent was Chelsea in 1/8 finals when they managed to win their further progress after penalties. Stoke showed decent performances in this campaign, they are currently at 10th position in Premier league,they are coming here after being defeated in last round by West Brom, while before that they achieved two important victories over Everton on the road and Manchester United at home. Stoke is for sure satisfied with their results so far, in Premier league they achieved 8 victories, got five draws and suffered seven defeats, they scored 21 goal in previous 20 rounds while also conceded same number of goals. In previous campaign they were eliminated in 1/8 finals by Southampton while in FA Cup also were stopped in 1/8 finals by Blackburn. Stoke managed to achieve great convincing victory in last round of previous season against Liverpool at home 6:1 while in this season in first round of Premier league suffered narrow defeat and it won't be easy for them to achieve positive result here and reach finals. As for absent players, defender Phil Bardsley (1/0) is in doubt for this match due to a minor injury, midfielder Stephen Ireland (6/0), defender Marc Muniesa (5/0), goalkeeper Shay Given (0/0) will all miss this match due to injuries while defender Geoff Cameron (18/0) is returning to the squad after suspension.
Liverpool on the other hand is not in their best shape, in previous round of Premier league they suffered defeat against West Ham 2:0, before that achieved two narrow victories over Sunderland and Leicester. In quarter finals of Capital One Cup they managed to overcome Southampton with convincing victory on the road 1:6. Liverpool is currently at 8th position at the table in Premier league , they didn't impressed with their performances and to achieve some results in this season they must improve their goal scoring skills, so far they scored 22 goals in 20 rounds of Premier league while conceded 24. They managed to reach knockout stage of Europa league as first placed and only unbeaten team in group B. Liverpool will for sure give their best to achieve positive outcome and reach finals, they won this Cup last time in 2012 when they managed to defeat Cardiff after penalties. It won't be easy to achieve positive result here against decent Stoke and hey must be focused here and play on very high level to reach finals. Coach Jurgen Klopp can't count on forwards Daniel Sturridge (5/2), Divock Origi (8/1), Danny Ings (5/2), midfielders Jordan Henderson (7/1), Fordan Rossiter (1/0), defenders Martin Skrtel (17/1), Joe Gomez (5/0) and Jon Flanagan (0/0), they will all stay out of action due to injuries while appearance of midfielder James Milner (15/2) is in doubt.
Stoke can be satisfied with their result so far and for sure will give their best to reach finals of Capital One Cup after more than 40 years, while Liverpool on the other side can't find their form, they showed decent performances but to achieve good results they must show much more and improve especially their goal scoring skills, I expect interesting match and by my opinion Liverpool is closer to a victory here.