It is a good thing that we have a game again so soon after our 2-1 loss to Spurs on Sunday. And to make it even better we are back at Anfield for the first time this season. I will not forget the corresponding fixture last season when we were held to a draw by Stoke. A draw that may have just cost us the title. It will be interesting to see how Rafa sets out tonight as I am sure he remembers all too well what Stoke did when they came to Anfield last season. We have to attack them from the first whistle and find a way to unlock them if they decide to play with 10 defenders.
We have to up our game from Sunday, especially our first half performance. I am sure Rafa is going to tinker with the starting lineup. I am not too sure if he will drop Lucas at this stage. Personally I would not want to see Lucas start but we really do not have any other options. The only option at this stage would be to see Stevie G drop back into midfield but I doubt Rafa would do this at this stage. So expect to see Lucas start tonight. The left wing position is going to be interesting as Rafa can pick from Babel, Riera and Benayoun. I would like to see Yossi starting as he offers us more going forward and his game intelligence may just be what we need to unlock a stubborn Stoke.
Rafa is going to make a late call with regards to the availability of Skrtel as he is still suffering from the jaw injury he picked up on Sunday. With Agger still out injured, we are looking thin in central defence so Ayala may just be called up if Skrtel is not fit.
This is a MUST win game for us as anything less than 3 points will be a disaster. My prediction: 3-0 to the Reds.