Houllier is hoping to be at the helm for the Carling Cup game with Blackburn on Wednesday week although he will be assisted by caretaker boss Kevin MacDonald.
He said: "I have to go back. I have a very important meeting Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday.
"Even if I wanted to take a private jet out (to the Stoke game) it wouldn't be possible.
"I apologise for that but I will be watching the game on television.
"If all goes to plan the Carling Cup match with be the first game I pick the team for.
"But I will do that with Kevin obviously. I think Kevin will stay alongside me (for that game)."
MacDonald has already indicated he does not want to be part of Houllier's first team coaching set-up and will instead return to his role as reserve team manager.