Paul Merson states his prediction for Liverpool FC v Stoke City

The Arsenal legend is backing Liverpool FC to beat Stoke City despite the distraction of the Champions League semi-finals

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp Photo: New Balance

Paul Merson is backing Liverpool FC to ease to a narrow win against Stoke City in the Premier League on Saturday despite the distraction of their Champions League semi-final.

The Reds were thrilling 5-2 winners against Serie A giants AS Roma in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final at Anfield on Tuesday night.

PFA player of the year Mohamed Salah scored twice in the opening half to put the Reds in command of the first leg before the Egypt international teed up Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane after half-time.

Liverpool FC will welcome 19th placed Stoke City to Anfield this weekend before Jurgen Klopp’s men make the return trip to Rome ahead of their second leg at the Stadio Olimpico on Wednesday night.

The Merseyside outfit are looking to secure top-four finishes in successive seasons under Jurgen Klopp after Liverpool FC ensured a return to the Champions League last term after a two-season absence.

Former Arsenal star Merson is backing Liverpool to ease to a narrow win against Stoke at Anfield in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon.

“This is a great time for Stoke. They’ve been a bit unlucky if I’m being honest, they just haven’t been able to get over the line,” Merson told Sky Sports.

“This is a hard one because Liverpool are usually a banker but they are going to rest everybody ahead of their Champions League semi-final second leg with Roma. I’m going to go with Liverpool but I don’t know why!”

Liverpool FC signed Virgil van Dijk in a club record £75m deal from Southampton in the January transfer window.

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