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Short corner taken by Steven Gerrard.
Phillippe Coutinho has an effort at goal. Erik Pieters gets a block in.
Daniel Agger takes the free kick.
Phillippe Coutinho fouled by Steven Nzonzi, the ref awards a free kick.
Robert Huth challenges Simon Mignolet unfairly and gives away a free kick.
Jermaine Pennant crosses the ball in from the free kick.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Marc Wilson by Jordan Henderson.
Kenwyne Jones takes a shot. Simon Mignolet parries the ball away.
Penalty taken by Jonathan Walters saved by Simon Mignolet. Liverpool 1-0 Stoke.
The referee penalises Daniel Agger for handball.
Free kick crossed by Charlie Adam.
Robert Huth makes a clearance.
Ryan Shawcross manages to make a clearance.
Clearance made by Marc Wilson.
Phillippe Coutinho takes the chance to get an effort at goal. Blocked by Ryan Shawcross.
Corner taken by Phillippe Coutinho.
Corner from the right by-line taken by Steven Gerrard.
Erik Pieters manages to make a clearance.
The ball is delivered by Marc Wilson.
Sanchez Jose Enrique makes a clearance.
Charlie Adam takes the chance to get an effort at goal. Simon Mignolet parries the effort to safety.
Kenwyne Jones joins the action as a substitute, replacing Peter Crouch.
Clearance by Charlie Adam.
Shot by Glen Johnson. Asmir Begovic parries the effort to safety.
Corner from the right by-line taken by Phillippe Coutinho.
Direct effort from the free kick comes in from Steven Gerrard. A parry by Asmir Begovic prevents the goal.
Foul by Robert Huth on Daniel Sturridge, free kick awarded.
Centre by Daniel Sturridge.
Kolo Toure receives a caution for unsporting behaviour.
Kolo Toure gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Erik Pieters.
Daniel Sturridge takes a fantastic shot and missed to the right of the target.
Raheem Sterling replaces Iago Aspas.
Marc Wilson takes the chance to get an effort at goal. Simon Mignolet parries the effort to safety.
Clearance by Steven Nzonzi.
Foul by Steven Gerrard on Jonathan Walters, free kick awarded.
Free kick taken by Simon Mignolet.
Free kick crossed by Jermaine Pennant.
Shot by Kolo Toure. Blocked by Ryan Shawcross.
Peter Crouch gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Leiva Lucas.
Sanchez Jose Enrique has an effort at goal and missed to the right of the net.
Clearance by Jonathan Walters.
Jordan Henderson takes a shot. Asmir Begovic turns it away with a finger tip save.
Charlie Adam joins the action as a substitute, replacing Glenn Whelan.
Glenn Whelan has an effort at goal and missed to the right of the net.
Header at goal by Iago Aspas misses to the right.
Corner from the left by-line taken by Steven Gerrard.
Daniel Sturridge has an effort at goal. Asmir Begovic parries the effort to safety.
Clearance by Jordan Henderson.
Ryan Shawcross makes a clearance.
Jordan Henderson makes a clearance.
Kolo Toure manages to make a clearance.
Asmir Begovic restarts play with the free kick.
Jordan Henderson takes the chance to get an effort at goal. Asmir Begovic parries the effort to safety.
Shot by Daniel Sturridge missed to the right of the net.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Steven Gerrard on Peter Crouch.
Phillippe Coutinho takes the chance to get an effort at goal and missed to the right of the net.
A cross is delivered by Geoff Cameron.
Robert Huth has a headed effort at goal. Blocked by Daniel Agger.
Free kick crossed by Glenn Whelan.
Shot by Phillippe Coutinho. Asmir Begovic catches the ball.
Corner taken by Steven Gerrard.
Header at goal by Robert Huth misses left of the target.
Corner taken by Matthew Etherington from the right by-line.
Jonathan Walters takes a shot. Simon Mignolet parries the effort to safety.
Free kick taken by Sanchez Jose Enrique.
Unfair challenge on Phillippe Coutinho by Geoff Cameron results in a free kick.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Steven Nzonzi by Iago Aspas.
Erik Pieters makes a clearance.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Sanchez Jose Enrique on Jonathan Walters.
Daniel Sturridge scores with their left foot. Liverpool 1-0 Stoke.The assist for the goal came from Iago Aspas.
Daniel Sturridge has an effort at goal. Asmir Begovic parries the ball but the danger is not over.
Clearance by Sanchez Jose Enrique.
Jordan Henderson takes a shot. Asmir Begovic parries the effort to safety.
Shot by Sanchez Jose Enrique. Blocked by Geoff Cameron.
Steven Gerrard makes a clearance.
Shot by Sanchez Jose Enrique. Asmir Begovic parries the effort to safety.
Marc Wilson makes a clearance.
Clearance made by Jordan Henderson.
Sanchez Jose Enrique takes the free kick.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Geoff Cameron on Phillippe Coutinho.
Phillippe Coutinho takes a shot and goes harmlessly over the bar.
Iago Aspas takes the chance to get an effort at goal. Asmir Begovic parries the ball away.
The ball is crossed by Geoff Cameron.
The ball is swung over by Glen Johnson.
The ball is crossed by Daniel Sturridge.
Header by Kolo Toure strikes the bar.
Asmir Begovic takes the free kick.
Foul by Matthew Etherington on Glen Johnson, free kick awarded.
A cross is delivered by Glen Johnson.
Glenn Whelan makes a clearance.
Robert Huth takes a shot and hits the bar.
Free kick crossed by Steven Gerrard.
Steven Nzonzi concedes a free kick for a foul on Leiva Lucas.
Shot by Glen Johnson. Blocked by Robert Huth.
Clearance by Glenn Whelan.
Free kick taken by Steven Gerrard.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Phillippe Coutinho by Geoff Cameron.
Marc Wilson restarts play with the free kick.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Leiva Lucas on Glenn Whelan.
World Cup dream drives Coutinho
Liverpool forward Philippe Coutinho grew up with Brazilian compatriots Ronaldinho and Kaka as his idols and now he wants to follow in their footsteps.
He watched the every move of Ronaldinho, in particular, and marvelled at how he pulled the strings for Barcelona in his pomp.
Coutinho envisaged the day when he too could have a chance to emulate his two heroes.
At Anfield he has been given an ideal platform, and while it may be premature to be thinking about elevating him into a similar category the portents are good. The Brazil-hosted World Cup next summer is in his thoughts, and Coutinho admits it would be a dream to play in the tournament for his country.
In Brendan Rodgers he has a club manager whose 'death by football' mantra means he will enjoy a lot of possession this season.
The crucial factor will be what he does with it but on the evidence of his first four months in England and a handful of pre-season friendlies the omens are good.
Speaking about his heroes, Coutinho told Press Association Sport: "They play more or less my position and they were my inspirations as I was growing up.
"I think both of them were super-excellent players, especially when Ronaldinho played at Barcelona it was like magic.
"Every time I had a chance I would watch him because he was someone who I looked up to."
Coutinho turned 21 in June and he still has a lot to learn about English football, but he is already seen by fans as a crucial part of the the club's future.
It is a weight of expectation which does not bother a player who scored the Reds' final goal of last season at Anfield in May to cap a promising four months following his arrival from Inter Milan.
Many questioned why Rodgers had spent B#8.5million on youngster who had failed to make the grade in Italy, but he quickly showed flashes of a potentially brilliant talent and his progress has continued in pre-season where he has been the club's stand-out player.
The form has singled him out as Liverpool's likely creator-in-chief going into the new Premier League season and it is a role he is more than comfortable with.
"I don't feel any extra pressure," he added ahead of the game against Stoke.
"The supporters are always there and that gives me a lot of strength to do my best for my team-mates and the club and to make the fanshappy."
He knows Liverpool can be the perfect place to showcase his abilities and, with a longer-term view, could gain him enough recognition to represent his country's senior team - with the added incentive of the World Cup on home soil.
"Of course it is a dream of mine. I need to have a good season at Liverpool, take my chances here and hopefully that would give me a chance of being called up for the national team," he said.
"It would be my biggest step in football and I will do my utmost to be there."
Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge is rated at about 80 per cent fit but appears to have shown enough to warrant inclusion against the Potters.
Centre-backs Daniel Agger and Martin Skrtel (both knee injuries) are expected to be available, although the latter is likely to have to settle for a place on the bench.
Summer signings Simon Mignolet and Kolo Toure are set for competitive debuts while fellow new arrivals Iago Aspas and Luis Alberto are also in the squad but striker Luis Suarez is suspended for a further six matches.
Meanwhile, Mark Hughes expects Stoke to score more goals this season than last, whether or not he manages to sign more players.
The Potters struggled to find the net last term and consequently needed a late charge to pull away from relegation trouble.
Their final tally of 34 goals in the Barclays Premier League was bettered by every side with the exception of relegated QPR and was 52 fewer than champions Manchester United managed.
New manager Hughes wants to develop Stoke's style and creating more goalscoring opportunities is a priority.
Hughes said: "We will try to play in a different way.
"We have given hints of that in the pre-season games and I think people have been encouraged by that.
"A lack of goals was something that obviously hindered the team last year. It is fair to say we are trying to address that.
"It could be in the transfer market we address it, but we could address it by the manner of the work we have been doing on the training field in terms of allowing them more licence to get into good areas of the football field.
"That is what we are about, creating more chances in the final third."
Midfielder Brek Shea misses the game with the knee injury suffered in a friendly in the United States last month.
Another midfielder, Jamie Ness, is also ruled out after his involvement in pre-season was curtailed by injury.
Summer signings Erik Pieters and Marc Muniesa, both defenders, are in contention for debuts while Asmir Begovic looks set to remain first-choice goalkeeper ahead of Thomas Sorensen and Jack Butland.
Liverpool 1-0 Stoke: Match Report - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game as it happened.
Mignolet is Reds' hero
Striker Daniel Sturridge got Liverpool's season off to a winning start but it was new goalkeeper Simon Mignolet who was the hero with a late penalty save.
The hosts had dominated throughout but had only the one goal to show for their efforts when Daniel Agger handled former Reds midfielder Charlie Adam's free-kick three minutes from time.
Jonathan Walters fired low to Mignolet's right but the Belgium international reached that and substitute Kenwyne Jones' follow-up to seal a 1-0 win and get his Liverpool career off to the best possible start following a B#9million move from Sunderland.
Sturridge had only trained for two weeks having been sidelined by an ankle injury sustained at the end of last season on England duty, but if he felt rusty he did not show it.
He had already had the ball in the net once, heading in Steven Gerrard's free-kick only to be denied by an offside flag, before he eventually broke the deadlock in the 37th minute.
With most of the focus over the summer being on the future of Liverpool's other striker Luis Suarez, Sturridge completed his rehabilitation in virtual anonymity.
He is not one for creating headlines but knows where to make an impact when it matters and he ultimately settled the contest, although the game should have been put well beyond Stoke with the number of chances created.
Liverpool need someone other than Suarez, last season's 30-goal striker, to rely on if they are to seriously mount a challenge for the top four and Sturridge looks like he is ready to shoulder that responsibility.
His 12th goal in 17 appearances since joining from Chelsea for B#12million in January is an impressive strike rate but he will need to maintain that over the course of a whole season.
First of all, however, he needs to do it over the first six games - the duration of the remainder of Suarez's ban for biting Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic in April.
Despite a summer of turmoil surrounding the Uruguay international there appears to be a sense his protestations about wanting to leave for a Champions League club - which resulted in him being forced to train on his own for a week - may have diminished.
Having been restored to training with his first-team colleagues on Friday, Rodgers said the 26-year-old was "back, smiling and happy" and there was definitely evidence of a broad grin as he walked around the perimeter of the pitch pre-match to a ripple of applause.
For all the problems Suarez has caused the club there is no doubt they will need his mercurial talents.
While they dominated a Stoke side trying to play more football under new manager Mark Hughes they lacked a cutting edge for long periods.
In fact, they could have been in trouble after just eight minutes when Mignolet, on his competitive Anfield debut, flapped at a cross with only the crossbar sparing his blushes by keeping out Robert Huth's volley.
But the tide quickly turned and Sturridge's disallowed goal was followed by Kolo Toure, another new signing, heading Gerrard's corner against the woodwork.
Sturridge blazed the rebound over from close range and then saw a cross-shot hacked clear by Erik Pieters after Philippe Coutinho had threaded through a pass which allowed him to go around Asmir Begovic.
Coutinho's vision to pick out opponents saw him set up Iago Aspas to shoot at the goalkeeper, who then blocked Jose Enrique's shot after a swift interchange between himself and Aspas.
The 21-year-old Brazilian seems certain to be Liverpool's creator-in-chief this season and he was at it again, putting Jordan Henderson through only for Begovic to get out quickly to block.
But just when it seemed Liverpool would go in frustrated, Sturridge cushioned an Aspas pass before drilling a low shot through the legs of Huth to finally beat Begovic.
One goal has never been a comfortable margin for Liverpool in recent seasons and they needed Mignolet to save well from Walters and Lucas Leiva to clear Ryan Shawcross' effort off the line to hold the half-time lead.
Further chances came after the break with Coutinho curling a shot past the far post, Sturridge denied at the near post by Begovic, Aspas heading wide from a corner and Henderson striking the upright.
Late on the excellent Begovic had to be at full stretch to tip over Gerrard's dipping free-kick and scrambled well to keep out Glen Johnson's close-range shot.
Adam almost embarrassed Mignolet with a shot from the halfway line before the goalkeeper came to Liverpool's rescue late on with his spot-kick save.
"WBA v Man Utd"
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