Premier League Betting Preview – Liverpool V Leicester: Attack against attack
Premier League football over the festive period is all about goals and entertainment. With the games coming thick and fast with hardly a day without football, it’s when the Premier League really comes into its own.
And when we look at these two teams, goals are what we expect. At times this Liverpool side this season have been completely unplayable. Unfortunately for them, their manager and their fans they’ve been a little too accommodating at the back. The newly formed fab four of Philippe Coutinho, Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and the magnificent Mohamed Salah are up there with the best attacking quartets in world football. Behind them however, the quality isn’t quite there and continues to hold back this team.
Salah in particular has been an absolute revelation in his second stint in England. The former Chelsea man has hit 15 Premier League goals in what has been a spectacular first half of the season. Salah’s pace makes him devastating on the break in the same way that Mane is, but he also possesses the quick feet and trickery of his Brazilian teammate Coutinho. If Leicester push on Salah’s the dangerman on the break, but if they sit deep and soak up the pressure he can hurt them with his guile and nous on the ball. For that reason, we can’t see Salah rounding off 2017 at Anfield without a goal. He’s 14/5 to score two or more and 10/1 to bag a hattrick with 21Bet.
So, how will Leicester play it? The smart money is on Claude Puel’s team trying to soak up the pressure and hit their hosts on the counter. The Frenchman has taken things back to basics using the pace of Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez, with the work rate of Shinji Okazaki. This worked wonders on their recent visit to face Southampton at St. Marys where the Foxes stunned the home team, continually hitting them with fast counterattacks and running out 4-1 winners. Since then, however they’ve fallen apart losing 3-0 at home to Crystal Palace, sneaking a late draw at home with Manchester United and losing 2-1 away at Watford. If Puel wants to play that counterattacking game they’ll need to hold tight at the back. Something they’ve struggled to do this season, with only two clean sheets since the end of October. If you fancy the Foxes to keep out a rampant Liverpool and nick it 1-0 you can get it at 25/1 with 21Bet.
But Liverpool will surely score. They always seem to score. The Reds have 25 goals in all competitions in December alone, smashing five past Swansea without reply on Boxing Day and hitting four past Bournemouth on the South Coast just over a week earlier. But it’s the recent Friday night goal fest at Arsenal that could be the best indicator for how this game will pan out. With Liverpool appearing like they would stroll to a cricket score at the Emirates, a few lapses of concentration and a smash and grab from the home side saw three goals in four minutes. Leicester when on song are masters of the smash and grab. If Liverpool are wasteful it could again be their undoing with the threat of Vardy and Mahrez very real if you don’t take your chances. Vardy is 9/5 to score at any time with 21Bet.
If you fancy a flutter on this exhilarating encounter, check out our betting site reviews to decide where to place your bets.
Head to head there’s not that much to choose between them with the sides having faced each other twice already this season, with a win apiece. Both matches were played at the King Power during the same week in September. The home side triumphed 2-0 in the League Cup, but were then beaten in a 3-2 thriller four days later. On that night Salah and Coutinho both hit the back of the net for the Reds as did Okazaki and Vardy for the Foxes. However, Jurgen Klopp’s men have won the Anfield encounter between these sides on the last two occasions scoring five and only conceding one. With Liverpool in fine goal scoring fettle and Leicester without first-choice right-back Danny Simpson as well as a less than water-tight defence of late it looks like the entertainment value will be high and the potential for goals even higher. We’re going for a repeat of the score from this season’s earlier Premier League encounter, with a 3-2 win for Liverpool.
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