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Reds to maintain winning run
Liverpool should make it three successive wins when they face Stoke City at Anfield in the Premier League on Tuesday evening.

Jurgen Klopp's side appear to have fully recovered from a shaky run when they conceded a 3-1 lead at Bournemouth to lose 4-3 before being held to a 2-2 draw by struggling West Ham at Anfield on December 11.

A 3-0 win at Middlesbrough was followed by last Monday's last-gasp 1-0 Merseyside derby success at Everton which ensured the Reds go into the festive weekend second in the table - six points behind leaders Chelsea.

They could be as low as fourth by the time they take to the field on Tuesday tea-time as Arsenal and Manchester City have Boxing Day games, while they might also be nine points adrift of top spot.

However, Klopp is delighted with the atmosphere in his squad claiming "everybody is on fire, we are all on track" after their two recent wins.

Defender Joel Matip is not expected to play despite making a good recovery from an ankle injury, while playmaker Philippe Coutinho is on the mend after an ankle injury but is also unlikely to feature.

Stoke arrive having won five of their last 10 Premier League outings, although they have not won in three with two draws and a defeat.

Boss Mark Hughes, who has never won as a manager at Anfield in 10 attempts in the league but masterminded a 1-0 Capital One Cup there last term, is still without the suspended forward Marko Arnautovic following his recent red card against Southampton.

However, Ibrahim Afellay has finally recovered from the knee ligament damage he suffered in April and could feature.

Stoke's record against Liverpool is poor with five defeats in the last six league meetings, including a 4-1 mauling in the same fixture in April, while the Reds are unbeaten at home in 15 league home games which suggests a draw at n/a might be the best the Potters can hope for.

Looking ahead to the contest Hughes said: "Not many people are thinking we have a chance of gaining positive results but that certainly isn't the case within our camp.

"Of course they have players who can hurt us, but we have players who can hurt them too. We went to Liverpool last year and beat them and we also got our first point at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League so we know we can go to these places and be positive."

Despite Hughes’ bravado it will probably take a big performance from his side and an off-day from Liverpool to prevent the hosts collecting maximum points.

Recommended bet: Home win at n/a.
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