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Hughes asks Stoke to exploit Liverpool’s defensive woes

Hughes asks Stoke to exploit Liverpool’s defensive woes

(Reuters) – Manager Mark Hughes has no doubts Stoke City will recover from Saturday’s 3-0 Premier League humbling by Leicester City in time to capitalise on Liverpool’s defensive frailties in the second leg of the League Cup semi-finals on Tuesday.

The Potters head into a clash needing to score at least once to advance to the final after they lost the first leg 1-0 at the Britannia Stadium earlier this month.

“It’s a cup semi-final for goodness sake and if you can’t get up for that then there’s something wrong somewhere. We are having a decent season and we will bounce back, I’m sure of that because we always do,” Hughes told British media.

Liverpool prevailed in a nine-goal thriller against Norwich City on Saturday, exposing their porous defence in the 5-4 league win, which enthused Hughes.

“There’s a lot of goals being scored against them, but they have the ability of scoring at the other end and so we have to be mindful of that,” the former Manchester City manager said.

“We go there in good heart and it’s about making sure what our focus should be on Tuesday and if it is right we will go close.”

Following Tuesday’s game, Stoke, who are ninth in the table after 23 games, travel to fifth-placed Manchester United on Feb. 2.

(Reporting by Shravanth Vijayakumar in Bengaluru; editing by Amlan Chakraborty)

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