Liverpool will be eyeing a return to winning ways in the Premier League when Sheffield United visit Anfield on Saturday evening.
We’ve got an 11/1 Same Game Multi bet lined up, and with Paddy’s acca insurance that means if one of our four legs doesn’t land, we’ll give your stake back (up to £/€10) as a free bet.
Here’s what we fancy…
Liverpool will be delighted to be back on their own patch at last for a match. The champions were battered at Villa Park ahead of the last international break before their players were battered by Jordan Pickford and Richarlison at Goodison Park last weekend.
And the form book suggests they couldn’t have hoped for much better opponents than Sheffield United either, even if they had their strengths last term. Chris Wilder’s team upset the odds to secure a top half finish last season, and that wasn’t thanks to their form at Bramall Lane alone, as the Blades had the ninth best away record in the Premier League.
However, since they won 1-0 at Crystal Palace on February 1, Sheffield United have drawn two and lost six of their eight league games on the road. And despite their decent away record in 2019/20, they didn’t win at any of the teams who finished in the top 11 in the table.
This fixture last season was one of the more routine matches of Liverpool’s title-winning season. Mohamed Salah put Jurgen Klopp’s side in front after just four minutes, Sadio Mane added a second after the break, and the visitors only had three shots in the whole game.
It’s hard not to think that this match will pan out in similar fashion. For all that the Reds were humiliated by Aston Villa recently, they have been imperious at Anfield in the last few years. They have won 20 of their 21 league games there since the start of last season, and 27 of their last 28 dating back to February 2019. Throw in a morale-boosting win at Ajax in midweek and Liverpool should have more than enough to see off the visitors.
With Virgil van Dijk having been ruled out for the foreseeable future, all eyes will be on the Liverpool defence. If they conceded seven to Villa with Van Dijk in the team, what hideous monstrosities will they be capable of now?
While there may be trouble ahead, Sheffield United are unlikely to provide too much of it. People will be looking to see if Rhian Brewster will come back to haunt his former side, but his entire Premier League career amounts to 26 minutes at this point, so he may have to wait for the return fixture.
Wilder’s side could do with him hitting the goal trail though. They have only scored two league goals this season – the fewest in the Premier League – and one of those was a penalty against the worst team in the division.
We can’t rule out them getting a spot-kick here, as the league’s most penalty-friendly ref Mike Dean is in charge of proceedings. But his intervention aside there should be a nil on the score sheet at full time, with the Blades blunted.
It’s easy to think that it’s all doom and gloom with Liverpool at the moment. Who’d have predicted they’d have conceded the joint-most goals in the Premier League at this point of the 2020/21 season? But while that’s hard to believe, there hasn’t been much wrong with their attack. Despite the hammering they took at Villa and dropping two points in the derby, the Reds did score twice in both matches.
It’s something they’ve accomplished in their last seven league games running, and in 10 of their 14 since the restart. With United only having lost one match by more than a single goal, this probably won’t be a goal fest. Liverpool play again in Europe on Tuesday night so will want to get this game won and then rest a few legs. Probably an even number of them, if anything.
Klopp substituted his established front three in one swoop in the Amsterdam Arena on Wednesday night, which suggests the trio will all get the nod to start here. Roberto Firmino is barely even taking shots these days, much less scoring. Perhaps five years of pressing for Klopp has finally taken it’s toll?
Therefore it looks to be a straight shootout between Mane and Salah in the goal scorer market, and the former is arguably in better form. He scored the opening goal in the Reds’ matches with Chelsea and Everton, bagged the equaliser against Arsenal, and set up the winning own goal in midweek.
*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widget. In-copy odds correct at time of publishing but may change.
Liverpool v Sheffield United tips
Same Game Multi Acca insurance
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