GUARDIAN – Liverpool v Stoke City: Squad sheets

There will be contrasting styles on show but a change in results at Anfield has to be the priority for Brendan Rodgers. For all the appreciation of how he is trying to evolve Liverpool the fact remains Rodgers’ team have lost their last three games at home. Tony Pulis may claim to be aggrieved at Peter Crouch’s omission from the latest England squad but with the former Liverpool striker “on fire”, and Michael Owen available to face his former club, Stoke have the means to test an unconvincing home defence. Andy HunterVenue AnfieldTickets Sold outLast season Liverpool 0 Stoke 0Referee L MasonThis season’s matches 4 Y11, R0, 2.75 cards per gameOdds Liverpool 4-9 Stoke 6-1 Draw 16-5LiverpoolSubs from Jones, Carragher, Coates, Henderson, José Enrique, Downing, Assaidi, Morgan, Robinson, Suso, Yesil, Cole, PachecoDoubtful NoneInjured Lucas (thigh, Nov), Kelly (knee, Mar)Suspended Shelvey (third of three)Form guide WLDLDLDisciplinary record Y10 R2Leading scorer Suárez 6StokeSubs from Sorensen, Etherington, Whitehead, Jones, Upson, Owen, Edu, Shotton, Palacios, Ness, Delap, Jerome, PennantDoubtful NoneInjured NoneSuspended Wilkinson (third of three)Form guide WLDDDDDisciplinary record Y10 R1Leading scorer Crouch 4Match pointers• Liverpool have won just two Premier League games at Anfield in 2012 (W2 D4 L6), a run that started with their goalless draw with Stoke on 14 January• Stoke have won none of their last 12 Premier League away games• Luis Suárez has had the joint-highest shots on target (17, alongside Jermain Defoe) and the most shots off target (16) of any top-flight player this season• In eight Premier League meetings between Liverpool and Stoke, both teams have failed to score on five occasions eachLiverpoolStoke CityPremier Leagueguardian.co.uk © 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

Details

Stoke ready to leave it late to make bid for free agent Michael Owen

Stoke manager Tony Pulis says he is still hopeful of signing free agent Michael Owen – and is prepared to leave it late to make a bid. Injuries ruined Michael Owen’s time at Manchester United. The 32-year-old former Liverpool striker is unattached since the end of his Manchester United contract, and Pulis has made no secret of his interest in signing him, provided the deal makes sense. ‘I am a great admirer of his,’ said Pulis after Stoke’s opening day 1-1 draw with Reading. ‘It would be lovely to bring him in and I think he would be a very good signing, but it has to be right. ‘Traditionally if we are dealing we do it late on because we think that is the best value we can get. We are hoping and praying that one or two things will drop for us that will improve the squad because we need to do that. And one or two will leave as well.’ With strikers Peter Crouch, Jon Walters, Mamady Sidibe, Kenwyne Jones and Cameron Jerome already at the club, Pulis says someone may have to leave to make room for the former England international. ‘He’s a good player and someone I think people in the club would like to have around,’ said Pulis. ‘He’s a great professional as well and Crouchy has shown what great professionals can do for the football club.’

Details

Gary Lineker: Peter Crouch should be picked for England’s Euro 2012 squad

Peter Crouch has received the Euro 2012 backing of former England sharp-shooter Gary Lineker. Gary Lineker thinks Peter Crouch deserves a place in England’s Eurp 2012 squad (Picture: AP) Roy Hodgson is due to unveil his 23-man England squad this afternoon, with his options in attack perhaps the most intriguing conundrum facing the new manager. Certain pick Wayne Rooney is suspended for the opening two Group D matches against France and Sweden, while Danny Welbeck, Daniel Sturridge, Andy Carroll, Grant Holt and Darren Bent have all staked claims. However, Stoke forward Crouch is the man Lineker would like to see involved, even though Hodgson’s predecessor Fabio Capello never picked him again after defeat to France in November 2010 when the 31-year-old scored his 22nd England goal. ‘I would be surprised if Crouch is not in the squad,’ said Lineker. ‘He is a proven goalscorer at international level, especially against weaker teams, and there are a couple of those in our group. ‘He can keep the ball and gives you a different option. ‘With Crouch there is a tendency to want to hit long balls, which doesn’t really work at that level. But it is only as he is so big. Technically, he’s a decent footballer.’ If Crouch was picked, it would likely end any outside chance of Norwich’s Holt making the cut. Aside from 27-goal Rooney, Holt was the highest-placed Englishman amongst the Premier League’s top scorers this season, with 15. Welbeck missed the last two United games of the season with injury but would be a surprise omission, Chelsea’s Sturridge has impressed in fits and starts, and Carroll’s late blossoming for Liverpool gives him a chance. Bent looked nailed on until the ankle injury that sidelined him for three months, although the Aston Villa man will now be fit for the start of the tournament on June 8.

Details

Everton edge closer to Merseyside bragging rights with Stoke draw

Everton remain on course to finish above Merseyside rivals Liverpool after earning a hard-fought point at Stoke. Everton players celebrate Crouch’s own goal (Picture: Action Images) After weathering the Potters’ aerial bombardment, Everton led through a freak Peter Crouch own goal in the 44th minute – Marc Wilson’s headed clearance bouncing into the striker’s face and into the net. But in the 69th minute Cameron Jerome ran from halfway before blasting home to level it. The result, coupled with Liverpool’s loss, leaves the seventh-placed Toffees three points ahead of their rivals. ‘Tonight’s point might just get us in the top 10,’ said Moyes. ‘If you’d have said to me at the start of the season, I’d have said: “I’ll that all day long”. Certainly with our form from January we’re better than top 10, but start of the season I’d have said: “No, I’m happy with that.”’ Moyes’ opposite number, Pulis, said: ‘I thought Everton were the better team first-half and without a question of a doubt, the [Everton] goal is fortuitous, but they deserved that. ‘Second-half I thought we came more into the game, we looked little bit tired and a little jaded first-half, but second-half I thought we deserved to get a point.’

Details