27 Dec 2016

Confirmed Team News: 'Explosive' £20m attacker admired by Klopp to miss Liverpool-Stoke game

Liverpool face Stoke City today, and the good news is that Mark Hughes is missing one of his key attacking players.

On December 14th, Marko Arnautovic got sent off against Southampton, and received a 3-match ban, which means he is unavailable for tonight's game.

Granted, £20m-rated Arnautovic has contributed only 5 goals/assists so far this season, but the 6'4 Austrian - described last season by Jurgen Klopp as a 'big talent - is a formidable physical presence, and the absence of tall players at set-pieces can only be a good thing.

Some further team news:

* Klopp on Matip: “He [has been] out of training for a few days already, and as long as we have other players in training all the time, we will choose them. You have to accept how it is...and that makes it really difficult".

* Hughes on injuries: “Phil Bardsley is still a few weeks away. Geoff Cameron is another one who isn’t going to be available to us over the Festive period".

* Hughes on Afellay: "Ibi played last Friday and came through the game strongly, so he is now back in the squad and available for selection. I have no qualms about including him".

* Lawro's Prediction (3-0): "I think Liverpool's movement and pace in attack will just be too much for Stoke".

Possible formation:

------------- Mignolet
Clyne ---- Lovren - Matip ---- Milner
---- Lallana -- Hendo -- Can
--- Mane --- Sturridge -- Firmino

* Oct 2016: hailed by Hughes as an 'explosive, game-changing footballer'.


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