Pulis powerless to stop smokin' Stevie
Rafa Benitez's comments about Alex Ferguson have been well documented this week but the Spaniard would be better off ensuring Liverpool justify being 4/11 in the betting.
Benitez has claimed Ferguson is the only manager not to be punished for speaking out against referees.
Whether this was relevant or not at a press conference about the Stoke game is debateable and the 17/2 underdogs will be doing their best to upset Rafa even more.
Stoke find themselves in the relegation zone on goal difference but it is their dismal away record as opposed to their respectable home record that has been their downfall. They deserve the long price though as they have lost their last three Premier League matches in a row, got knocked out of the FA Cup by Hartlepool and have had well documented problems involving star striker Ricardo Fuller who is banned.
The fact that they are at home but strikers Dave Kitson and Richard Cresswell are 10/1 to score the first goal reflects their perceived chance.
Rory Delap continues to be Stokes main threat with his long throw-ins and healthy goal contribution from midfield and he can be backed at odds of 7/1 to score anytime.
Should new signing Matthew Etherington start, he can give the impotent Stoke attack a much-needed extra dimension.
While Liverpool would expect to win this game it may well not be comprehensive. Stoke held Man Utd for a long time before succumbing late on to a solitary goal.
They held Liverpool at the Britannia Stadium earlier this season and are 7/2 to draw again.
The returning Fernando Torres will delight Liverpool players and fans and the Spaniard can be backed at 3/1 to score first with Robbie Keane at 5/1.
Steven Gerrard, despite his recent off field drama has been in excellent goal scoring form and is 4/1 to open the scoring.
Barring the 5-1 thrashing of Newcastle, Liverpool don't often thrash teams and Stoke should be able to hold out for a good deal of the match but a victory looks unlikely.
If you believe that Stoke can put in a solid performance for a good deal of the match then draw half time/Liverpool full time at 10/3 looks appealing.
Another interesting bet could be the handicap tie at 21/10 with Stoke receiving a goal head start, meaning if Liverpool win by just a goal you would win on the handicap tie.
An away clean sheet looks a little short at 8/15 so for those that think Stoke will continue to lack upfront Liverpool to win to nil at 4/5 will appeal more.
The Reds have lost just one game all season and are looking realistic contenders for the title with Chelsea and Man Utd slipping up regularly.
If they are to continue their charge for the title this is the kind of match they definitely have to win and after Rafas' rant about Fergie he will not want to look foolish by allowing United to gain on them at the top of the Premier League.
Liverpool should win but it does not look like it will be a mauling making 1-0 at 11/2 and 2-1 at 7/1 look the most backable score lines.
While Fergie will be willing Stoke to do him a favour and turn over the Reds it should be Rafa who is all smiles come Saturday evening.
Draw half time/Liverpool full time - 10/3
Steven Gerrard to score first - 4/1