Stoke vs Liverpool live: Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino turn things around for the Reds

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The Independent Football

Liverpool will bid to bounce back from the disappointment of their mid-week draw with Bournemouth as they take on Stoke this Saturday.

Mark Hughes’ men are suffering from a sudden loss in form having succumbed to defeats in their last three games. As a result, the Potters now sit in 12th place in the league with 36 points to their name.

As for Liverpool, their recent draw with Bournemouth has put their hopes of European football on hold as the battle for a top-four spot heats up. Jurgen Klopp’s men cannot afford to slip up again.

Follow all of the action with our liveblog below.

Live Updates

Good morning and welcome to The Independent's live coverage of today's Premier League action. Up first, Spurs host Watford for the 12:30 kick off. The 15:00 kick-offs are as follows, Stoke City vs Liverpool, Middlesbrough vs Burnley, West Ham vs Swansea, West Brom vs Southampton and Manchester City vs Hull. Finally, Bournemouth welcome Chelsea to Dean Court for our 17:30 kick-off. 
 
Stay tuned for all the build up, team news and minute-by-minute coverage of the action. 

Team news: Tottenham vs Watford

Tottenham starting XI: Lloris, Trippier, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Davies, Dier, Dembele, Son, Eriksen, Dele, Janssen.
 
Substitutes: Lopez, Walker, Wimmer, Ndoudou, Sissoko, Wanyama, Kane.
 
Watford starting XI: Gomes, Mariappa, Cathcart, Holebas, Janmaat, Cleverly, Doucoure, Amrabat, Niang, Okaka, Success.
 
Substitutes: Pantilimon, Deeney, Zuniga, Kabasele, Capoue, Mason, Eleftheriou.

Spurs remain the only side in the Premier League to not loose a home fixture, which is a daunting prospect for any side travelling to White Hart Lane. With ten consecutive home wins for the home team, a win today will not only close the gap on Chelsea, but it will also make history.  The reintroduction of Harry Kane, albeit to the sideline, will provide a huge boost for Spurs, following the strikers ankle injury. 

Walter Mazzarri's side are on the brink of securing top flight football for next season, so this game will certainly not be all about the title chasers. However, the Hornets have not had the best results away from Vicarage Road, with only one win in their last 10 away matches. Nonetheless, the prospect of propelling themselves away from the relegation zone will surely be enough to motivate the visitors. 
 
 

Mauricio Pochettino insists Tottenham can mount lasting challenge to Chelsea

The Tottenham boss insisted his players had shown their rivals that they have the mentality to mount a lasting challenge to Chelsea in the race for the Premier League. 
Top stuff from the 30-year-old. Congratulations. 
What you need to know about Isaac Success
 
The Nigerian is set to make his second start for Watford today, following a slow introduction to Mazzarri's side. The forward joined the Hornets for a club-record signing of £12.5m from Spanish side, Granada. He agreed a five-year contract with Watford and he looks like a growing prospect for the club.
 
He scored six goals in 30 appearances for Granada, with the side narrowly avoiding relegation from La Liga.
 
Speculation surrounded the youngster's fitness levels when he first moved to the club, but he appears to have improved under the coaching staff at Watford.
 
He certainly could be one to watch today. 
Spurs have not lost a league game at home to Watford since a 5-1 defeat in 1985, which does not bode well in the visitors favour. However, The Hornets will be hungry today to secure three consecutive wins for the first time since their four match streak at the end of 2015. It has been an incredibly repetitive season for the visiting fans, with Watford sit the same record as they did after 30 games last year. They have 10 wins, seven draws and 37 points. 
 
Kick off at 12:30.
Wise words from the Watford boss. The importance of this game for the visitors is evident. 
Victor Wanyama has been replaced on the Spurs bench by Joshua Onomah, after the midfielder appeared to pick up an injury in the warm up. 
KICK OFF
 
Spurs kick-off to get the game under way. Game on!
2 MINS
 
Alli makes an early bust down the right, but his attempted cross into the box is blocked. Corner kick to the home side.
3 MINS
 
Janssen crashes into the back of Holebas, giving The Hornets a free kick in a potentially dangerous position. 
4 MINS
 
Holebas strikes the set piece over the wall, but it is a fairly routine save for Lloris. 
6 MINS
 
Holebas takes a corner short for Watford, which finds Cleverley on the edge of the area. The 27-year-old attempts to return the ball, but Lloris charges out of goal to collect possession.
7 MINS
 
At the other end, Son goes for goal and his deflected strike rattles the outside of the woodwork. Corner kick to Spurs.
9 MINS
 
Janssen looks for his first Premier League goal from open play, but Gomes manages to block the close range strike with his right leg. Top save.
11 MINS
 
Holebas delivers an imposing free kick towards the back post, but it manages to only find the head of Vertonghen. The attempted clearance drops to the feet of Cathcart, but his strike only manages to rattle the side netting. 
14 MINS
 
Janssen charges down the right and sends a swift delivery across the face of the goal, but it's easily collected by Gomes. 
17 MINS
 
Vertonghen finds Davies on the left, but the 23-year-old fails to find Alli with his attempted delivery into the danger zone. 
19 MINS
 
Tottenham should have scored, with Janssen rattling the crossbar from just two yards out. Trippier put a tantalising ball across the face of the goal, but Janssen was just too static and failed to react to the open goal situation. 

When is it?

Kick-off is 3.00pm, Saturday 8 April, at the bet365 Stadium.

Where can I watch it?

The game won’t be broadcast live on TV but replays will be available on MOTD from 10.30pm.

It’s a big game for…

Emre Can. With Jordan Henderson, Adam Lallana and now Sadio Mane all out of the equation, the German midfielder can expect a busy day at the office on Saturday. Can struggled against Leicester in February when he was tasked with anchoring the Liverpool midfield but has gone on to find his feet since. Stoke head into the game with three successive defeats to their name but Can would be wise to have his wits about him on Saturday against a typically resilient side.

emre-can.jpg
The German can expect a busy day at the office on Saturday (Getty)

Remember when…

Stoke embarrassed Liverpool 6-1 at the end of the 2014/15 season? Steven Gerrard was sent off in his final game for the club as the Potters ran riot against Brendan Rodgers’ side on.

Player to watch…

Xherdan Shaqiri. The former Bayern Munich and Inter Milan player is expected to make his first appearance for Stoke this weekend after a lengthy injury spell on the sideline. The Swiss hasn’t featured for the side since January but given the technical quality of his game, and the ability to make something out of nothing, Shaqiri will be one player to keep a close eye.

9-shaqiri.jpg
Shaqiri makes his Stoke return (Getty)

Last three meetings…

Liverpool 4 Stoke 1, Premier League, December 2016

Liverpool 4 Stoke 1, Premier League, April 2016

Liverpool 0 Stoke 1, League Cup, January 2016

Form guide…

Stoke: LLLDWL 

Liverpool:  DWDWWL

Odds…

Stoke to win: 3/1

Liverpool to win: 94/100

Draw: 13/5

(Odds provided by Bet 888)

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