What a year 2019 has been for Liverpool Football Club!
A seven-year trophy drought ended in style in Madrid to cap off a season where the club amassed a staggering 97 points only to be pipped to a first title in 29 years by a single bloody point.
Having added the Super Cup and Club World Cup since, Liverpool have confirmed their rightful place at the top of the football tree.
They are the best team on the planet right now and the foundations are there to ensure they don’t drop off anytime soon.
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Since taking over in the 15/16 season Jurgen Klopp lost three cup finals in three consecutive seasons, but he overhauled the team in a structural and personal capacity, turning Liverpool from heavy pressers into a team that could control and dictate how a game was going to be played.
The whispers have been there for some time that something special was happening on Merseyside.
They’ve transformed from football entertainers to serial winners. It seems at the moment the only team that can beat them is themselves.
Fortress Anfield has seen Liverpool collect a total of 83 league points from a possible 87 since August 2018. They haven’t lost a game at home in the league since Crystal Palace and Christian Benteke shocked the Kop in April 2017.
While they have a 100 per cent home win record in the league this season, they only have two clean sheets in all competitions – which would be just one had VAR not cruelly ruled out Neto’s goal the other evening.
The question here is how we can find the value in a game where the home side is a huge odds on favourite (2/9). Enter Sheffield United.
Who would have thought we would be looking at Chris Wilder’s men sitting in the top half having only lost one game away from home all season?
They’re closer to the top four than relegation and boast the joint second-best defensive record in the league. The Blades can be sticky opponents for Liverpool and you can certainly count of them being fired up to play against the World Champions come Thursday night.
Liverpool’s first team have clocked up the miles off the pitch travelling to and from Qatar and while they were scintillating against Leicester, it was evident that they were a small bit leggy against Wolves.
All of the team’s metrics were considerably down in the second half in terms of passes, possession and shots.
With all this in mind and the fact that rotation is likely for the Reds, I believe there is value in backing the half-time draw with Liverpool winning at full-time market at 11/4.
Sheffield United kept the second-best team in the league scoreless at the break on Sunday evening and they will not roll over too easily.
Even with a bit of squad rotation in the midfield and forward line, it’s hard to see past a Liverpool result full time. The Reds struggled to break down United at Bramall Lane in the game earlier this season, so I’ll side with Liverpool to win & Under 3.5 goals at 10/11 as a safer bet.
For a goal scorer, Roberto Firmino has been in fine form lately. He’s coming off the back of the Club World Cup winners and a brace against Leicester, so he looks the value in the forward line at 4/1 to score first.
Finally, for a real Thursday Thriller, a combo of Liverpool Draw Half time/win full time, Firmino to score first & Under 3.5 goals can be backed at 25/1 in our #WhatOddsPaddy section.
Liverpool v Sheffield United trader’s bet summary:
Draw half time/Liverpool win full time – 11/4
Liverpool win & Under 3.5 goals – 10/11
Firmino to score first – 4/1
* All odds correct at time of posting.