Stoke City vs Liverpool team news: Salah benched for Reds as Solanke makes first Premier League start

Stoke City vs Liverpool team news: Salah benched for Reds as Solanke makes first Premier League start

Stoke City make two changes with Liverpool making six, controversially dropping Premier League top goalscorer Mohamed Salah with Dominic Solanke making his first top-flight start.

Charlie Malam

In-form winger Mohamed Salah is benched for Liverpool while Dominic Solanke makes his first ever Premier League start in their trip to Stoke City on Wednesday night (8pm kick-off). 

Salah has started all but one of Liverpool's 20 league and Champions League games so far this season, scoring 15 goals, but is relegated to the bench at the bet365 Stadium with Solanke handed a chance in his place.

The 20-year-old, who made his England debut earlier this month, is handed his first ever top-flight start having made seven appearances off the bench since joining Liverpool in the summer.

Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mané, rested in their draw with Chelsea at the weekend, both return to the starting line-up with playmaker Philippe Coutinho benched.

Emre Can - who missed the Chelsea game with a minor injury - also returns to make his 100th Liverpool appearance while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain keeps his place to start a second straight league game for the first time.

Jürgen Klopp makes one change to his back-four with Alberto Moreno starting his 13th consecutive game at left-back. Dejan Lovren is also passed fit from a knock that forced him to miss the draw with Chelsea, with Ragnar Klavan dropped from the squad entirely due to illness.

Daniel Sturridge joins captain Jordan Henderson, James Milner, Coutinho and Salah to make up a strong bench. Adam Lallana is not in the squad with a minor muscle complaint.

Mark Hughes' hosts stick with a back-three formation and make a couple of changes themselves.

Former Liverpool striker and the Potters' top goalscorer this season, Peter Crouch, is handed his first Premier League start of the campaign having scored all of his three goals so far from the bench.

The towering front-man extended his contract in the Potteries until 2019 on Tuesday and replaces Ramadan Sobhi - who drops to the bench after picking up a slight knock at the weekend.

Crouch is supported by Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Xherdan Shaqiri, who has contributed to 47 per-cent of Stoke's top-flight goals this term and has two goals and four assists in his last six league games.

Stoke's only other change from their late defeat to Crystal Palace at the weekend sees Bruno Martins Indi replace Kevin Wimmer in Hughes' back-line.

Darren Fletcher starts his 105th consecutive Premier League match and remains behind only Wayne Bridge (114), Matt Holland (115) and Frank Lampard (164) of outfield players to start so many successive games in the competition's history.

Saido Berahino is back in the match-day 18 having missed out at Palace. The striker is yet to score in 21 appearances across all competitions for Stoke, a run of 641 days without a goal.


Full confirmed line-ups

Stoke City starting XI: Grant; Zouma, Shawcross, Martins Indi; Diouf, Fletcher, Allen, Pieters; Shaqiri, Choupo-Moting, Crouch.

Liverpool starting XI: Mignolet; Gomez, Matip, Lovren, Moreno; Can, Wijnaldum; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Firmino, Mané; Solanke.

Stoke City bench: Haugaard, Wimmer, Adam, Afellay, Jése, Sobhi, Berahino.

Liverpool bench: Karius, Alexander-Arnold, Milner, Henderson, Coutinho, Salah, Sturridge.