That's it, the whistle blows and Liverpool get the first three points of the Premier League season, thanks to Daniel Sturridge's first-half strike and Simon Mignolet's late penalty save from Walters. A cracking game to open up the Premier League season, Liverpool win it 1-0. Thanks for joining us.
Kenwyne Jones flicks on towards Walters but Mignolet smothers it.
Gerrard takes the sting out of the game by shielding the ball and winning another corner.
Coutinho's long-range effort is deflected just wide for a corner.
Handbags, handbags. Nzonzi and Coutinho tangle as tempers fray.
Mignolet saved the rebound from Jones with his hip. Vital double save from the new stopper. Relief for Agger who handled clearly.
MIGNOLET SAVES! Walters' penalty is stopped by Mignolet who makes a magnificent save.
PENALTY TO STOKE! Agger handles, spot-kick Stoke.
Free-kick to Stoke in another dangerous area. Sterling the culprit after a high foot.
Henderson pokes a shot across the Stoke area but nobody in a red shirt is there to take advantage.
Sterling breaks and has loads of space in the Stoke area. He picks out Coutinho who dinks a shot against the Stoke defence who clear.
Gerrard's corner goes behind, for another corner. Agger wants a penalty but he's no chance there.
Sturridge breaks and tries to play in Henderson who wins a corner for the home team.
Liverpool clear the corner, if only for a Stoke throw deep in their own half. No long throw from Stoke today. Is it extinct now Pulis has gone?
Charlie Adam tries a spectacular effort from the halfway line and Mignolet has to scurry back and palm it over. Corner.
Kenwyne Jones comes on for Peter Crouch, who gets a good reception from both sets of fans.
Sterling tries to play in Enrique who eventually gets the bal, but he blasts it well wide.
Coutinho's corner is headed goalwards by Agger but Pieters blocks it. Toure can't poke in the rebound.
Good effort from Gerrard from the free-kick and Begovic has to stretch to stop it from curling in the top corner.
Huth fouls Sturridge and Liverpool have a free-kick 30-yards from goal.
Enrique does well to flick a defensive header clear from a Walters cross.
Sturridge probes his way through the Stoke defence down the Liverpool right and his low cross is a good one but the away side poke it clear with Gerrard lurking.
Kolo Toure is cautioned for a foul.
Despite their domination, it is only 1-0 Liverpool and you just sense a few nerves kicking in around the ground.
Sturridge blasts one wide as Liverpool continue to seek a second.
Pennant looks for Walters who cuts inside but is tackled by Toure.
Iago Aspas gets a standing ovation as he is replaced by Raheem Sterling.
Marc Wilson makes a run through midfield and fires a shot straight into the arms of Mignolet.
Toure intercepts the ball and strides forward. Assured debut from the centre back.
Gerrard heads the free-kick away but it's fired back in the box, Crouch flicks it on and Huth's deflected shot has to be saved by Mignolet.
Chance for Stoke who win a free-kick out wide on their right. Pennant stands over it.
Liverpool piling on the pressure. Another corner falls to Toure whose shot is blocked.
LIVERPOOL HIT THE POST! Aspas with a great run and he slides a pass to Henderson who crashes his effort against the far post. Begovic might've got the slightest of touches to that.
Etherington off, Jermaine Pennant on. Whelan off, Charlie Adam on. Double substitution just after the hour from Hughes who introduces two Anfield old boys.
Whelan blasts one wide from long range.
Aspas' run to the near post is found by Gerrard but the striker's header floats wide.
Coutinue 'threads' (!!) another one through for Sturridge, who forces a save from Begovic from a tight angle. Corner.
Lucas tries to thread one through but Shawcross is there to quell the danger. I know I've used 'thread' a lot today but that's what Liverpool continue to try to do to penetrate the Stoke defence.
Johnson wins a throw deep in Stoke's half off Etherington.
Sturridge attempts and audacious back-heeled one-two with Aspas but Cameron is there to deny the move.
Walters is the catalyst for a Stoke attack, but it eventually breaks down and Liverpool pour forward.
Steven Gerrard has had the most touches this afternoon with 76. So far.
Erik Peters has space but his cross is long and wayward and a stranded Peter Crouch vents his frustration.
Enrique picks out Coutinho with a pass courtesy of the outside of his left boot. The ball eventually breaks to Henderson who whips one goalwards and Begovic pulls off a marvellous save.
Liverpool continue to pick and probe their way through Stoke. Patience is the word.
Enrique sends Cameron flying into the crowd - fairly. Just a shoulder charge. Coutinho then threads a throughball miles away from anyone - a rare lapse from the silky Brazilian.
Toure defends well as he makes a solid start in a Liverpool shirt.
Coutinho breaks down the Liverpool left, he cuts inside and curls a right-footed shot just around the far post. So close.
No changes at the break. Very strong bench for Stoke today isn't it? I can see Hughes making changes if they're still behind on the hour.
Stoke get the second half under way.
Ryan Stewart strokes his crystal ball and as the mist clears he sees this vision: "I think the game will finish 2-1 to Liverpool and the goals come from Coutinho and Crouch."
Oliver Clayton identifies a familiar problem for Liverpool: "Same problem for LFC as always: they are not clinical enough and will be caught later!!! They have to be more ruthless : take their chances and smash the net!!!"
SKY BET PRICEBOOSTS: Liverpool to win 4-0 - 16/1. Draw 1-1 - 16/1. Gerrard next goal - 10/1. Walters next goal - 20/1.
Well, what do you reckon? Emails to email@example.com with your thoughts please. Liverpool looked very good for the most part, with many chances created. They didn't look too sharp at the back though, with Mignolet particularly edgy and they looked vulnerable on the break.
The whistle goes for half-time and Stoke end it well with another corner. Liverpool dominated much of the first period, though, and go into the break with a deserved 1-0 lead thanks to Sturridge. It wasn't all one-way traffic and Huth did hit the bar for the visitors, giving them hope they can hit back in the second half.
Shawcross with the header and it's cleared off the line by Lucas! Relief for Atkinson there as it was never a corner.
Lucas goes in the book for a late challenge. Free-kick to Stoke in a dangerous area. from it, the away side win a corner even though it came off Huth.
Comfortable save for Begovic from Coutinho as Liverpool continue to press towards the end of the first period.
Corner for Liverpool. Gerrard curls one away from the Stoke goal and it evades everyone.
Great save by Mignolet. Walters latches onto a bouncing loose ball outside the Liverpool area and he lashes one towards the left corner of Liverpool's goal, but Mignolet pulls off a marvellous one-handed stop.
Aspas tries to gather a pass from Henderson but he can't quite get it under control in the Stoke area.
Coutinho and Aspas attempt to link up again before Lucas comes in with a challenge on the loose ball. Free-kick to Stoke deep in their own half.
The pressure was building on Stoke and no surprise Sturridge was the man to open the scoring as he's been a nuisance all half for the Stoke defence.
GOAL! STURRIDGE! The breakthrough is made as Sturridge blasts a left-foot low effort into the bottom corner. It was coming... 1-0 Liverpool.
Begovic again makes a good save, this time from the angle as Sturridge blasts an effort at goal.
Gerrard this time threads one through for Sturridge, who can't find a team-mate when he looks inside.
Another great chance for Liverpool. Coutinho slides a fantastic ball through to Henderson who is one-on-one with Begovic, but again the goalkeeper comes to Stoke's rescue.
After the lightning-fast start, the game has calmed down now with Stoke much more involved.
Lucas tidies up for Liverpool and sets them on their way. The Reds look for Coutinho again - he's the go-to man today for the home side, no doubt.
Kolo Toure hits one long towards Aspas but that's meat and drink to the Stoke defence.
Jon Walters can't keep a long diagonal ball to him in play and Liverpool get possession back.
Chance for Enrique. Great play by Liverpool. Coutinho, Aspas and Enrique combine before the latter pokes one goalwards and Begovic is equal to it. Gerrard smashes the rebound high over the bar.
Stoke take the direct route looking for Walters but the ball curls its way out for a Liverpool throw-in.
Great tackle by Lucas to win theball back for Liverpool.
Cameron gets forward again for Stoke down their right before the move breaks down. He could be an important outlet for the Potters this afternoon.
Lucas hits a square ball to Coutinho who curls one over the top from 20 yards out.
Coutinho pleads to the referee that he was fouled but Atkinson's having none of it and Stoke retain possession.
Coutinho threads one through the Stoke defence and Aspas pokes his toe at it. Easy save for Begovic but that pass was inches from being perfect for the striker.
Very nervy start for Mignolet. He's just hit an attempted clearance against Walters and that's his third 'moment' in the first quarter.
Geoff Cameron floats one in towards Crouch but he's squeezed out of it by Johnson and Toure.
Sturridge and Aspas showing a good understanding early. Still Liverpool dominate possession inside Stoke's half.
Who said cagey start? It could be 3-1 already.
Coutinho slides a pass into the feet of Sturridge who skips by Begovic but is pushed wide of the goal. He keeps it in, curls a cross right in front of the goal-line but Stoke scramble it away.
LIVERPOOL HIT THE BAR! Gerrard whips in another corner and Kolo Toure powers a header onto the underside of the crossbar. Sturridge smashes the rebound high into the Anfield Road end.
Sturridge scores but his goal is ruled out for offside. Gerrard whips in the free-kick, Sturridge heads it into the corner but the linesman is quick to raise his flag and he is right to do so.
Johnson is fouled by Etherington in a dangerous position, just to the right of Stoke's penalty area...
STOKE HIT THE BAR! Mignolet is left stranded under a high ball and it breaks to Robert Huth who smashes a volley against the bar. Great chance for the away side.
Liverpool's flag kick is comfortably headed away and Stoke break with Erik Peters. However, his attempted through ball is poor.
Gerrard curls in a free-kick from the right and eventually the home side get a corner. Gerrard shuffles over to take it...
The early signs are Lucas sliding balls down the right wing could hurt Stoke this afternoon. This time Glen Johnson runs onto one, he cuts inside and shoots with his left foot but his effort is blocked.
Jon Walters takes on Jose Enrique down the Stoke right as the away side break into Liverpool's half for the first time.
Liverpool having early sustained possession deep in Stoke's half. Lucas slides one through for Sturridge who attempts a diagonal pull back but he can't find a red shirt.
Gerrard fires in a free-kick with pace and dip. Ryan Shawcross heads it away.
Daniel Sturridge looks to make headway down the Liverpool right and wins a throw for his side. Liverpool retain possession.
Martin Atkinson blows his whistle to signal the start of the Premier League season and Liverpool get us under way...
Fans voted for the songs to be played before today's game. They went for: Should I Stay Or Should I Go by The Clash, Ring of Fire by Johnny Cash and Sabotage by the Beastie Boys. Three classics for your iPod, I'm sure you'll agree. With the last notes of Sabotage faded down, the teams enter the arena...
Jensen Yip offers his thoughts: "Henderson or Gerrard on the right wing? Still room for improvement for the former. And I expect Glen Johnson to replicate his performance three years ago. We bought him because of his goals and assists in Portsmouth." Neither of them permanently, Jensen, though both may drift wide from central positions in the 4-3-3. I thought Henderson improved last year and he'll be wanting to establish himself as a first XI regular this campaign.
Kay Guest emails in to say: "Hi all, I have seen both teams in pre-season and Liverpool are in for a shock today as they had easy pre-season games. That will back fire as Stoke are ready and strong under Mark Hughes...2-1 Stoke with Crouch and Huth to score."
If you want my view (come on, admit it) I think 0-0 at half-time at over 2/1 is a decent bet. I'm a natural pessimist, but I can see this being a bit cagey early doors. Feel free to email me and tell me I'm wrong - let's hope it's a cracker!
If you fancy a flutter on the game Sky Bet have boosted Steven Gerrard to 17/2 to score the first goal while a 1-0 win for Stoke is now 28/1. For all priceboosts and odds, go here>>>>>betting.
Luis Suarez is here at Anfield to watch the game with his daughter Delfina. He's banned still, of course, for that bite on Branislav Ivanovic. The Uruguay international walked around the perimeter of the pitch to a ripple of applause from the smattering of fans assembled inside the ground an hour before kick-off. He even stopped to shake hands with former referee Mark Halsey at pitchside before disappearing down the tunnel.
Stoke: Begovic, Cameron, Shawcross, Huth, Pieters, Whelan, Nzonzi, Palacios, Walters, Crouch, Etherington. Subs: Muniesa, Pennant, Jones, Wilson, Adam, Sorensen, Jerome.
Liverpool: Mignolet, Johnson, Toure, Agger, Jose Enrique, Gerrard, Lucas, Henderson, Aspas, Sturridge, Coutinho. Subs: Brad Jones, Alberto, Allen, Borini, Sterling, Wisdom, Ibe.
Premier League football is back. Welcome to our first top-level clockwatch of the new season as Liverpool take on Mark Hughes' Stoke at Anfield. If you want to get involved, send your contributions to firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll post the teams shortly...