Liverpool beware: Stoke have only lost once at home this season

Liverpool will need to be at their best on Sunday, when they face a Stoke side that has conceded just seven goals and suffered one home loss in the league all season.

If Liverpool want to leave Stoke with three points on Sunday, they will need to be at their very sharpest.

Only once have the Potters lost at the Britannia Stadium in the Premier League this season, while they have taken points against Chelsea (with a 3-2 win) and Manchester City (a 0-0 draw).

Despite a dire away record (Stoke have lost seven of their 10 league games on the road), Mark Hughes is slowly starting to stamp his mark on his side, although it is hardly the Barcelona-esque style offered to fans at the start of the season. Indeed, while the Potters have begun to pass the ball better, their disciplinary record has taken a turn for the worse, with Hughes' classic trait of building a strong, rough team being put into practice.

Brendan Rodgers will thus have to be wary, as anything less than a win could see Liverpool finish the weekend out of the top four, with Everton playing Norwich on Saturday.

The potential return of Daniel Sturridge may help but the Reds will have to call on stellar performances from all of their stars if they are to inflict Stoke's second league loss of the season. Luis Suarez, for instance, will have to improve on his record of one goal in four against the Potters in the Premier League, although he has three in two against Stoke in cup competitions.

What makes Hughes' side so hard to beat at home is their resilience. Out of their 10 home games, only four have been won. They have, however, earned five draws, including a last-minute point achieved against Everton last time out.

Even more impressively, the Potters have only conceded seven at home, the fourth-best record of its kind in the division. Only those in the top five have lost either less or the same amount of games as them at home, meanwhile.

Can Liverpool overcome Stoke on Sunday or will they prove too strong at home?

images: © Dean Jones, © John Lord

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