Liverpool are starting to approach must-win territory, at least if their goal is to make a return to European competitions next season. They're already dangerously close to playing themselves well out of the race for fourth place, and are seriously in need of their first win of the season, for a confidence boost if anything else. Unfortunately, they'll struggle to get it on Sunday.
The Reds host Stoke City, masters of the draw. Former Liverpool man Peter Crouch is in excellent form, and the rest of the side should play compact and physical as always. They managed draws against Arsenal and Manchester City, and their only loss this season was away to Chelsea. All of the evidence suggests that this match will end in a draw, but maybe Liverpool will finally play up to their talent level and flip the script.
Liverpool injuries and suspensions
Stoke City injuries and suspensions
Out: Andy Wilkinson (suspended)
Things are a bit thin in midfield for Liverpool without Shelvey or Lucas, but maybe the absence of those two means that Nuri Sahin will finally get a chance to show the skills that he hasn't displayed since winning a Bundesliga title with Borussia Dortmund. With Wilkinson out for Stoke, the versatile Geoff Cameron is likely to play right back.
Match Date/Time: 3 p.m. local, 10 a.m. ET
Venue: Anfield, Liverpool, England
TV: FOX Soccer Plus (U.S.), Sportsnet World Plus (Canada)
Online: FOX Soccer 2 Go