Expect a low scoring clash at Anfield - Betting Preview
Liverpool v Stoke 12:45 - live on BT Sport 1
With yet another TV provider in BT Sport, the Premier League returns to our screens after a summer full of, mainly, youth football. Of course, I should also mention the Confederations cup, but all you want is Premier League football, right?
Well, the new season starts with Liverpool (4/9) v Stoke (8/1), and each team has gone through a number of changes during the summer break. Firstly, Liverpool coach Brendan Rodgers has brought in Celta Vigo forward Iago Aspas (7/2 to score first, 10/11 anytime), Sevillla striker Luis Alberto, Man City defender Kolo Toure and Sunderland goalkeeper Simon Mignolet.
Despite losing long standing coach Tony Pulis, combined with a fear that they are losing their hard to beat tag, Stoke's pre-season results under new boss Mark Hughes, for what they count, have been encouraging - and they've taken a worthy gamble with Barcelona youth product Mark Muniesa.
As someone with high knowledge of Spanish football, I can tell you that Aspas is a decent player - a kind of poor man's David Villa, in my opinion. Luis Alberto? No idea why they've signed him, he didn't play much and wasn't productive for Sevilla.
Now, with regards to today's match, when watching Premier League football, in particular Liverpool home games, I find that they often struggle to beat much weaker teams at Anfield.
I don't have the statistics to hand and await Reds fans telling me, either through the comments section on here or via my Twitter feed, that this doesn't happen as often as I think and that I should trust Liverpool to win today, but trust is something that has to be earned and I'm not recommending a bet in the 90 minute market anyway.
What I am recommending, however, is a bet on the over/under goals market. Indeed, with serial biter Suarez suspended for the first six games of the season, Liverpool should struggle to score goals.
With the only exception being Stoke's 3-1 defeat of Liverpool at the Britannia stadium last season, six of the last seven Premier League head to head meetings between these two have contained two goals or less.
Recommendation: Under 2.5 goals (EVS)