Liverpool were inert for all bar the opening 90 seconds at Crystal Palace last Sunday. No spark. No creativity in a third straight defeat. No players seemingly capable of extricating last season’s Premier League runners-up from the depressive pallor that now hangs with semi-permanence at Anfield.
The Reds haven’t lost four consecutive league games since the 200203 season, the heart of an 11-game winless run under Gerard Houllier that stretched from early November until mid January.
That campaign also came after finishing second the previous season, struggling to deal with the rigours of Champions League football and after a calamitous post-World Cup transfer policy.
Put simply, Brendan Rodgers’ men look afraid. They’re getting bullied. They may only be five points off the final Champions League place, but that says more about the current state of many teams above them than anything else. Statistically speaking, Liverpool aren’t facing Stoke at a good time. The Potters haven’t repeated a result in 12 games and lost last time out to Burnley. In theory, it should be a win or a draw for Mark Hughes’ men.
As that stat would indicate, Stoke are gloriously consistent in their inconsistency. They’ve beaten Man City and Spurs away, but lost to Aston Villa and Sunderland, both of whom are, frankly, awful.
SOURCE: Daily Monitor