Charlie Nicholas predicts the outcome of Stoke City v Liverpool

Charlie Nicholas can't understand why Liverpool are favourites to beat Stoke City in the League Cup

The Sport Review staff
By    

Charlie Nicholas has tipped Stoke City to beat Liverpool in the first leg of their League Cup semi-final at The Britannia on Tuesday night.

The Reds are priced as slight favourites to beat the Potters despite losing three of their last four Premier League games on the road, including a 2-0 loss at West Ham.

I’m really surprised Liverpool are the favourites for this one

Charlie Nicholas

Mark Hughes’s side suffered a last-gasp 2-1 defeat by West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns on Saturday afternoon, although the Potters were 4-3 winners against Liverpool’s Merseyside rivals Everton last week.

Former Arsenal midfielder Nicholas says he can’t see which of Jurgen Klopp’s players will inspire the Reds to a much-needed victory following their loss at Upton Park on Saturday.

“Liverpool will be looking for a reaction after the West Ham defeat, but it’s difficult to see where it will come from,” Nicholas told Sky Sports.

“If they play Christian Benteke, it will suit Stoke because Ryan Shawcross loves a battle. Adam Lallana and Philippe Couthino have been really disappointing and I’m not sure if Daniel Sturridge is fit, but Liverpool definitely need a lift.

“I’m really surprised Liverpool are the favourites for this one. Stoke have been terrific at home and for me have far more match winners.

“Marko Arnautovic is one of the players of the season for me – he thrives on the big occasions and has scored some cracking goals. I really fancy Stoke but this tie won’t be done and dusted in the first leg.”

Liverpool booked their place in the League Cup last four following a resounding 6-1 victory over Southampton at St Mary’s in the quarter-finals in December.

MORE: The latest Liverpool news and views

MORE: The latest Liverpool player tweets

The Reds were 1-0 winners at Stoke in the Premier League earlier this year after Philippe Coutinho’s long-range winner.

MORE: Seven reasons why Chelsea must keep Cesc Fabregas

MORE: 20 Chelsea targets Conte could sign to replace Terry

MORE: Do you know the top Muslim footballers in the Premier League?

MORE: Back to The Sport Review homepage

MORE: Man United latest news

MORE: Arsenal latest news

MORE: Chelsea latest news

MORE: Liverpool latest news

The Sport Review
Watch: Man United’s David De Gea embarrassed by Chelsea star’s wonder-goal
The Sport Review
Miami WTA Preview: Kerber and Pliskova head field, but Vesnina and Kuznetsova on a roll
The Sport Review
Top 50 most stylish footballers in the world in 2017: Chelsea, Arsenal stars feature – Slideshow
The Sport Review
20 Chelsea transfer targets Antonio Conte could sign in the summer
The Sport Review
Top 25 Muslim football players in Premier League: Arsenal, Liverpool, Man United and Chelsea stars feature
The Sport Review
Arsenal WAGs 2017: Meet Granit Xhaka, Shkodran Mustafi and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s wives and girlfriends
The Sport Review
Roberto Firmino: 25 photos of the Liverpool forward’s stunning wife
The Sport Review
Top 40 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Man United stars feature
The Sport Review
Paul Merson: This will be the next Arsenal manager and the fans will love it
The Sport Review
Miami Open 2017: British hopes rest on Konta, as Edmund, Evans, Watson, Bedene lose openers
The Sport Review
Alan Shearer predicts where Man United and Arsenal will finish this season