Mark Lawrenson blasts Liverpool team in prediction v Stoke
By Harvey Byrne
Former defender Mark Lawrenson believes Liverpool will be held to another draw against Stoke on Saturday, stating they do not have the ability to grind out victories.
The Merseyside giants were held to a 2-2 draw at Anfield against Bournemouth in midweek as they entered the last five minutes 2-1 up with goals from Philippe Coutinho and Divock Origi.
However, Josh King’s strike in the dying minutes ensured that the two teams shared the spoils and Lawrenson has now blasted Jurgen Klopp’s side for being “too nice”.
The BBC pundit has predicted a 1-1 draw between Liverpool and Stoke this weekend and has stated that he can’t see his old club winning this one.
“After coming back from 1-0 down to lead Bournemouth 2-1 on Wednesday, there is no way Liverpool should have conceded a late equaliser the way they did,” told Lawrenson to the BBC Sport website.
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“You can call it game management if you like, but it comes down to a collective responsibility by the team – when you are ahead with a few minutes to go, you make sure you win.
“Liverpool do not have the ability to do that at the moment. You could argue they are too nice, and they are also missing the injured Adam Lallana and Sadio Mane.
“Stoke have now lost three on the spin and have scored only one goal in their past four matches, but I don’t see Liverpool going there and winning.”
When Liverpool met Stoke earlier in the season the Reds ran out convincing 4-1 victors with goals coming from Adam Lallana, Roberto Firmino and Daniel Sturridge alongside an own goal from Giannelli Imbula to cancel out an early Jonathan Walters effort.
However, the Reds were sat as high as second back then with just six points separating them from league leaders Chelsea, while Mark Hughes’ team were struggling in 13th.
Now, Liverpool are sat in third with 12 points separating them from the top and five off of second, while Stoke are sat comfortably in mid-table in 12th place.
In other Liverpool news, the Reds are readying a summer battle with close rivals Everton for 70-time capped international.