Soccer Picks: Liverpool vs. Stoke City Tips & Predictions

Wednesday, August 14, 2013 6:05 PM UTC

Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013 6:05 PM UTC

Will Steven Gerrard and the Reds kick off their 2013/14 league campaign on the right foot? They'll be hosting Stoke City at Anfield. Let our free soccer picks help you walk away a richer man after the match is over.
<p style="text-align:center"><span></span></p> <p><b style="font-size:1em">Odds Overview</b></p> <p>The <a target="_blank" title="Live Soccer Odds &amp; Betting Lines" href="/betting-odds/soccer/">soccer odds</a> for opening weekend have been out for quite some time now. Liverpool ranges from -240 to -290 depending on the <a target="_blank" title="Sportsbook Review: Who should you trust with your money?" href="">sportsbook</a>.</p> <p>Those who think the Potters have at least a small chance should definitely consider a small bet at as high as +900. That's quite the return of investment if Stoke City can bring their A game to Merseyside.</p> <p>[gameodds]2/239495/?r3=43-999997-349/dec&amp;r-1=43-999997-349/us[/gameodds]</p> <p><b>Liverpool</b></p> <p><img style="font-size:1em" src="" class="imgSelectedPicture article-image" alt="Image preview" id="ctl00_head_ArticleAdministrator_picturePreview_imgSelectedPicture" />This has certainly been an interesting summer for the Reds and now it's time to find out if all of the drama's been worth it.</p> <p><span style="font-size:1em">What stands out most, unfortunately, is the Luis Suarez saga. Despite all the love shown to him from supporters and the whole club, Suarez made no secret of his wish to leave to join a <a target="_blank" title="Free Soccer Picks: Champions League 2014 Futures Betting" href="/soccer/free-picks/free-soccer-picks-champions-league-2014-futures-betting-a-31619/">Champions League team</a>.</span></p> <p>However, management has refused to sell the star striker and now it looks as if he'll change his mind and decide to stay on at Anfield. That in itself would be a tremendous boost to Liverpool's chances this season.</p> <p>The club has been busy in the transfer market as well, signing the likes of Iago Aspas, Kolo Toure, Luis Alberto, and goalkeeper Simon Mignolet. Pepe Reina, Stewart Downing, and Jonjo Shelvey are a few of the players who have moved on.</p> <p><span style="font-size:1em">With Coutinho looking like one of the most exciting young players in the world and Daniel Sturridge finding full fitness, this could be the season Liverpool finally breaks back into the top four.</span><b style="font-size:1em"> </b></p> <p><b>Stoke City</b><b style="font-size:1em"> </b></p> <p>The biggest change for the Potters has come at the top, as Mark Hughes has replaced Tony Pulis as the club's manager.</p> <p><span style="font-size:1em">Many supporters had grown tired of Pulis' direct and rather boring style of play and they're hopeful Hughes can bring a more attacking and pleasing brand to the table this season.</span><b style="font-size:1em"> </b></p> <p>Not much happened over the summer in terms of player movement, but Erik Pieters was bought for three million pounds from PSV Eindhoven and Marc Muniesa was signed on a free transfer from Barcelona B.<span style="font-size:1em"> </span></p> <p>Hughes will have to make do with the current squad, which features the likes of Peter Crouch, Jonathan Walters, Kenwyne Jones, and Cameron Jones. Defensively, the Potters have always been tough-nosed, and that all starts with Ryan Shawcross.<span style="font-size:1em"> </span></p> <p>This opening test up in Liverpool should give us a good indication as to how the players are taking to the new philosophy at Stoke.</p> <p>[gameodds]2/239495/?r3=43-999997-349/dec&amp;r-1=43-999997-349/us[/gameodds]</p> <p><b>Premier League Pick</b></p> <p>Though we can't read too much into preseason performances, the Reds had a lot of positives going on and seem to be taking well to Brendan Rodgers' style of managing, both on the pitch and off.</p> <p>The atmosphere should be one to remember at Anfield and we look for Liverpool to come out and dominate possession from the opening whistle. As long as the Reds can maintain their composure and discipline in the back, they should be able to keep the Potters from causing too much trouble going forward.<span style="font-size:1em"> </span></p> <p>Suarez, of course, is ineligible to play, but Sturridge is gaining more and more fitness and could make the starting XI, while Coutinho, Gerrard, and Aspas have shown they can find the back of the net as well.<span style="font-size:1em"> </span></p> <p>This will be a great early test for both clubs, but ultimately we foresee a win for the home team.</p> <p><b>Pick: </b>Liverpool 2 Stoke City 0<b></b></p> <p><i style="font-size:1em">Check out more picks at our soccer handicapping page! And don't forget about SBRodds either!</i></p>
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