Mike Marsh insists Liverpool face a tough task in trying to take three points home from Stoke City on Sunday – and the stats seem to back up his assertions.

The last time the Reds won on the road in the league against the Potters, Ronnie Whelan scored a late winner on November 3, 1984 at the old Victoria Ground.

Fast forward 30 years and Stoke, under new leadership in Mark Hughes, are 12th in the Barclays Premier League table and unbeaten in seven home league games.

They have lost just once at the Britannia Stadium in the league all season, having edged Chelsea in a dramatic encounter and held Everton, Manchester City and Southampton to draws.

"Stoke make it a really difficult place to go and play football," Marsh told Liverpoolfc.com. "They put the ball in areas that make you go and defend and at times it can be tough.

"That's not just for Liverpool, but for many teams that go there. Traditionally they have been very strong at home, so we'll see where that leaves us at the weekend.

"They have some very tall players like Peter Crouch and Kenywne Jones. But they can get the ball down and play. They have players like Charlie Adam. So it will be an interesting game, depending on who they pick.

"If they go back to their traditional way of playing, and play very direct, they will be difficult to play against. We're looking forward to a tough game and we're well prepared for it."

The two sides locked horns on the opening day of the 2013-14 season, when an instinctive, long-range drive from Daniel Sturridge and late heroics from debutant Simon Mignolet secured a 1-0 win for Liverpool.

Hughes was in the Stoke dug-out for the first time in a competitive encounter that day having replaced Tony Pulis after six years of his second spell with the Potters.

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Marsh knows that Hughes has been tasked with adjusting the footballing philosophy at the club - and while he can already see subtle changes, insists Stoke are by no means the finished article.

"They try and play a little more football," said Marsh. "They try and build from the back more and they are not so direct. When they came here for the first game of the season, you could see that they were in transition.

"Hughes is trying to change from how they were under Pulis and with a bit of luck they're not quite at that stage yet and they'll still be a work in progress.

"It won't have any impact on us as such. We prepare for games like we always do. We'll set our game up as we think they're going to play and then we'll take the game to them.

"He's bedded in quite a lot of players. Fortunately for us, one of his better players at the minute [Oussama Assaidi] belongs to us and so he won't be playing on Sunday. So they'll have to chop and change their side a little bit."