The Redmen TV – Match Preview: Stoke City vs Liverpool

Britannia Stadium, 15:00 Sunday

Match Preview:

Stoke City welcome Liverpool to the Britannia Stadium for the sides’ final match of the 2014/15 campaign on Sunday.  Separated by 11 points, they occupy 9th and 5th respectively – the hosts have taken 10 points from their last five league matches, including home victories against both Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur, whilst the Reds have taken just 5, beating Queens Park Rangers 2-1 at home during amidst a dismal end of season run.  The moods around each respective club are markedly different – the Potters can enjoy a second successive four-decade best 9th place and boast their record Premier League points haul under Mark Hughes, whilst their visitors have fallen off badly following the departure of Luis Suarez and in the absence of Daniel Sturridge; the impending departure of Steven Gerrard and the doubt surrounding the futures of Raheem Sterling and manager Brendan Rodgers darken the atmosphere further.  Stoke City – guaranteed 9th – have recorded three victories and just one defeat in six Premier League matches with Liverpool at the Britannia and will hope to end another successful season with another strong showing.  Liverpool, meanwhile – hoping for a win that will extend their summer break by avoiding Europa League qualification rounds – will struggle to feel like victors regardless of the result given their lack of late-season challenge to the sides above them.

Opposition XI:

Ahead of the final meeting of the 2014/15 season, The Redmen TV catch up with Potters supporter, Matt Meir – thanks to Matt for providing his insight an opinion:

Two successive 9th place finishes – your best in four decades – and a record Premier League points haul guaranteed, you must be delighted with the way things are going at the Britannia Stadium?

Matt:  “I’ve personally never seen the first team play as successfully as they have this past twelve months. We’ve seen fleeting moments of it previously, but to consistently perform whilst suffering from an appalling run of injuries is testament to the chapter of history that Hughes is building in the Potteries. To say we could have reached the top seven or six this year might seem like being somewhat extravagant – but had a couple of results gone slightly more in our favour, or had we not picked up as many long-term injuries to key first team players as we had done, top six would have been a real possibility. That we’re now also beginning to see the results of our Academy investment begin to break through to the full first team squad, as well as the club strengthening it externally, it seems like the future is positively rosy in south Stoke.”

QPR-aside, Mark Hughes seems to be a manager who gets the most out of the sides he manages – what’s your assessment as his second campaign draws to a close?

…Continued at:

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