As the battle for the top-four places gathers pace, both Chelsea and Arsenal did their goal difference the world of good, chalking-up 0-4 and 4-1 victories against Brighton and Crystal Palace respectively. With Tottenham only managing a draw away at Southampton, Jurgen Klopp will see this as the ideal chance to widen the gap between fourth and the chasing pack.
However, Swansea won’t rollover. Under new boss Carlos Carvalhal, the Swans have developed a more robust approach to the game, though given the attacking options at Liverpool’s disposal, they may have to temper optimism with caution. On paper an easy away win, perhaps: except football isn’t played on paper. We preview the merits of both teams, below.
LIVERPOOL TO PAINT THE TOWN RED
SWANSEA 0 V 4 LIVERPOOL
It just goes to show you the levels of expectation here. Swansea are at home and yet a HUGE 9/1 against Liverpool tonight. Of course, that price has as much to do with their display against the previously unbeaten Manchester City, where a nine-minute three goal salvo simply blew them away. However, it is that time of the season when every point suddenly becomes precious: Swansea, rock-bottom of the Premier League, need to start getting points on the board as quickly as possible. They beat Watford, put up a great fight against Spurs, then beat Wolves and Newcastle in their last four games. The Swans welcome back striker Bony, and they’ll look to him, and in-form Jordan Ayew (two in two games), to shoot down the Redmen.
As mentioned, each and every Liverpool player will be feeling 10ft tall after that incredible game against Man City, in which the players ran themselves into the ground to secure victory. That pulsating game was a full eight days ago, though, and Liverpool should arrive refreshed and raring to go. They have won the last five games on the bounce, and are unbeaten in all competitions since losing 4-1 to Spurs back in October. That run of recent victories includes the 5-0 demolition of Swansea back on Boxing Day and the Swans will do well to prevent a repeat here.
Mike van der Hoorn, Renato Sanches, and Tammy Abraham could all feature at some stage, whilst Angel Rangel faces a late fitness test. The world’s costliest defender, VVD is set to make his PL debut for the Reds. Ragnar Klavan, Mo Salah, and Dejan Lovren all have the flu and face late fitness checks, whilst Henderson and Moreno are both some way off match fitness.
What We Sayin’?
Initially, we thought this might be a low-scoring affair, Swansea loath to concede as many as they did last time, especially in front of their home fans. However, they’ll need to check any impulse to bet with the reality that they’ll coming up against Liverpool. This could be a quiet night, defensively-wise, for VVD, so a punt on him to score first holds appeal.
- BTTS - NO | 8/11
- VVD 1st GS | 12/1
- Liverpool win both halves | 13/8
- Our scorecast (0-4) | 11/1
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*All prices subject to fluctuation. Make sure to check StanJames.com for up to date prices.
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