He Ken stun Liverpool
Liverpool went to Wigan midweek after three successive wins but they were held to a 1-1 draw. The result could probably be put down to all the tireless effort the Liverpool players put in whilst grinding out a result against Chelsea.
The Stoke match is their second away fixture this week and although they only managed to draw against The Latics, they have maintained their unbeaten run. A positive that Liverpool can take out of the game is the return to form of Torres, it was his third goal in two games.
Torres is 10/11 to score anytime and he no longer looks sapped of energy. Since Liverpool have moved away from the relegation zone, his fitness and form are starting to resemble that of a world class striker.
Whether Liverpool can qualify for the Champion's League is debatable, they are 4/1 for a top four finish, but that is a little short for me. However, their chances have been improved by the inconsistent form of Tottenham and Man City.
Stoke City overcame Birmingham City in one of the best matches midweek. The game went right down to the wire and Stoke won the five goal thriller. Stoke have been steady this season and are 13/5 to win at home. The draw is 21/10 and the Liverpool victory is 23/20.
Liverpool's problem is their dire away form, they have only won one away match in the league this season and that was at Bolton.
Liverpool will need to watch out for Jermaine Pennant, the man on loan from Zaragoza is an ex-Liverpool midfielder and he has put in some impressive displays. He is 7/1 to score anytime and with his darting runs and ability in front of goal, he could easily feature on the score sheet.
I think the 13/5 for Stoke to win is a reasonable price, Hodgson plays a deep defensive line with Torres as a lone striker. Torres will have little support and Stoke can attack in numbers. Kenwyne Jones is 11/2 to score the first goal and after his performance midweek, the eight million pound club record signing can beat Liverpool in the air.
He can thrive on the ammunition supplied from Etherington and Pennant down the wings. Liverpool will be without the skilful Joe Cole and Stoke have Ryan Shawcross returning to central defence.
The 13/8 Stoke draw no bet is a tempting punt as I can foresee the first half ending a stalemate (10/11), both teams can cancel each other out and the Brittania stadium is never easy for a visiting team.
This Saturday's Match Winner is Gerrard and Torres both to score at 5/1, it is an enhanced price, my only qualm would be that I can see this match being a low scoring encounter. So both players will need take the few chances they have in front of goal.