While both Sheffield United and Liverpool competed midweek in Carabao Cup action, you can bet your bottom dollar there’ll be wholesale changes all round before of this lunch time clash on Saturday.
That means you can probably overlook Wednesday’s results when it comes to punting on this one.
Sheffield United have had the best start to the season out of all three promoted clubs. While Norwich have gained plaudits for their style of play and a famous victory over Man City, it’s the Blades have been quietly going about their business – grinding out some solid results.
Although they are coming off the back of a 2-0 win on Merseyside over Everton, they more than rode their luck in that one and Chris Wilder described it as “possibly the worst” they have played all season.
Much improvement will be needed this weekend, but, unfortunately, the gap in class looks far too big.
Liverpool made it six wins from six as they held out under severe second-half pressure away at Chelsea.
The Reds looked very flat in the second half – especially the front three – and having played away to Napoli a couple of days previous, it looks like some fatigue was to blame. Yet, they still came away from Stamford Bridge with the result.
Having had a full week to prepare and rest thanks to all those changes at MK Dons, I do not expect the same level of performance this weekend.
Liverpool have led at half-time in all six of their Premier League wins this season and this weekend should be no different, so the 10/11 punt on Liverpool/Liverpool Half-Time/Full-Time looks a very smart play.
Jurgen Klopp can’t have too many complaints with a perfect start to the season, but he may have some slight concerns with the goals and chances his side have given up at this early stage of the season.
Last year, they had the meanest defence in the league and had only conceded two goals at this stage – compared to five so far this year. Sheff Utd have scored in all but one of their outings this campaign and will fancy their chances of grabbing a goal here.
I am, however, still not sold on the quality of the Blades in the final third and feel against real top-class opposition they will struggle to created and convert.
Virgil van Dijk & Co will be keen to keep just their second clean sheet of the season here and Liverpool to win to nil at 5/4.
Sadio Mane picked up a slight knock against Chelsea, but he should be recovered in time for this one. Mane, along with Mo Salah, were far from their best at Stamford Bridge, with neither man registering a shot on target.
I expect them to be back at it here and it wouldn’t come as a shock if both ended on the score sheet.
Added to this Roberto Firmino has been in fine form again this season – landing three goals and three assists so far. While there is plenty to like in the Goalscorer markets, it looks hard to split the front three for a bit of value.
Instead, there may be some value in the Anytime Assist market – both Andy Robertson & Trent Alexander-Arnold have picked up where they left off last season. Each have two assists to their name thus far and are as integral as ever in how Liverpool attack. Not to mention the quality they can provide at set-pieces.
Liverpool/Liverpool HT-FT @10/11
Liverpool to win to nil – 5/4
Andy Robertson Anytime Assist – 11/4 and/or Tent Alexander-Arnold Anytime Assist – 9/4
* All odds correct at time of posting.