Stoke City vs Liverpool by Marcelino
Liverpool finished in 6th place. They won 5 preseason games and drew 1, but they were all against very poor opposition. They made some major signings - James Milner, Danny Ings, Firmino, Clyne, Benteke. They could make a difference this season, especially Benteke, but I think it will take some time before they play well as a team.
Liverpool ended the last season poorly, with their away form being just 1 win in their last 6 away games.
Liverpool have a tough start to the season, and I am seeing problems for Brendan Rodgers and I think they will make a poor start and he might even get sacked.
Stoke have been playing well last season and finished in 9th place. Their major signings in the summer were Glen Johnson, Marco van Ginkel, Joselu and Affelay. They haven't been impressive in their pre-season, but I think it will be a different atmosphere and focus in their first premier league game in front of their home fans
Stoke won 4 of the last 6 times they hosted Liverpool, including a 6-1 victory on the last game of last season.
Stoke also ended last season well on home ground, winning 4 of their last 6 with wins over good teams - Tottenham, Southampton, Everton and Liverpool. Strangely, they lost to a lower ranked team Crystal Palace and drew against relegation struggles Sunderland.
Stoke have been playing very well on home ground over the past few seasons. They have an especially good home record against the top teams. I think they will get especially strong home support as it's the first game of the season and I think their confidence from beating Liverpool before and the home support will help them get the win here
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|Stoke City||Pinnacle||3.45||6||0-1 LOST (-6 units)|