Date: 26th December 2012 at 11:50am
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The Reds face a tricky trip to the Britannia Stadium in Stoke tonight and there could be a return for two rested stars…

Brendan Rodgers takes his Liverpool side to Stoke City later today and will do so with a relative clean bill of health.

Only striker Fabio Borini (broken foot) and defender Martin Kelly (cruciate ligament) remain sidelined although the former is hopeful of a return in the next few weeks.

There could be recalls for Raheem Sterling, who committed himself to the club recently, and midfielder Joe Allen after both were rested from the starting eleven during the 4-0 win over Fulham on Saturday.

Allen is the least likely for an instant return as the club continue to monitor and control and ongoing pelvis problem.

Of the Welsh midfielder’s situation, Rodgers commented at his pre-match press conference on Monday: “I felt it was the right time [to rest Allen]. He’s also suffering a little bit in and around his pelvis.

“Add into that he has played twice the amount of games at this stage of the season than he had last year. He’s been playing in a lot of the games – sometimes up to three games in a week. Physically, that has been a big demand on him.”

Also with a slight issue is winger Oussama Assaidi who has a knee problem but the Moroccan is unlikely to be challenging for a place even if fit, especially given the return to form of Stewart Downing.

Possible line-up
Reina, Johnson, Skrtel, Agger, Enrique, Lucas, Shelvey, Gerrard, Downing, Sterling, Suarez.

As for the hosts, Tony Pulis has a number of ex-Liverpool players to call upon. However out of the quartet of Peter Crouch, Michael Owen, Charlie Adam and Jermain Pennant, only Crouch and Adam are likely to feature.

Squad players Mark Wilson (broken leg) and Rory Delap (hernia) are certain to miss out for the Potters who may well stick with the side who drew 0-0 with Tottenham Hotspur last time out.

Possible line-up
Begovic, Cameron, Huth, Shawcross, Wilkinson, Whelan, Nzonzi, Etherington, Shotton, Jones, Walters.

Vital Liverpool’s prediction: 1-2

Click here to read former Red Mark Lawrenson’s prediction

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