CAN Liverpool continue where they left off on Sunday? Mark O’Haire (@MarkOHaire) takes a look at the best bets on offer for the visit of Bordeaux.
Liverpool v Bordeaux | Thursday 20.05 | BT Sport Europe
The feel good factor is back at Anfield and after Liverpool’s 4-1 slaughtering of Manchester City at the Etihad on Sunday, many Reds fans are probably dreaming of what’s potentially possible under the tutelage of charismatic Jurgen Klopp.
Liverpool sit second in Group B of the Europa League and a victory over Bordeaux would secure their place in the knockout stages. Already Klopp has shown a willingness to respect the competition far more than his predecessor Brendan Rodgers and so, despite recording just three home victories all season, the Reds deserve maximum respect on Thursday.
The hosts saw playmaker Philippe Coutinho join a lengthily injury list that includes Jordan Henderson, Jon Flanagan, Danny Ings, Joe Gomez, Jordan Rossiter and Mamadou Sakho but Klopp should again field a strong enough XI to take care of business. Daniel Sturridge, Christian Benteke and Jordon Ibe could all be in line to start in attack.
The Reds have suffered just three defeats in 2015/16 and really should have won the reverse fixture in France. Their W1-D3-L0 Europa League return this term is far from daunting but the progress made in eight games under Klopp’s watch certainly is and it’s also worth pointing out, no side has fired in more attempts in this season’s competition than Liverpool’s 87 (that’s an average of nearly 22 per-game).
Liverpool hold a W10-D1-L2 record when hosting Ligue 1 clubs and they’re welcoming a Bordeaux side that’s lost all five of their previous trips to England ‘to nil’. Overall, Les Girondins hold a very poor W1-D3-L7 return against Premier League sides and head into this encounter with only three victories from 14 in all competitions.
The powder-puff guests have notched just twice in their four group-games (W0-D3-L1) and are without their chief creator Wahbi Khazzri through suspension. Gregory Sertic is also sidelined as Bordeaux hunt a first road victory since early August with Willy Sagnol’s men needing to avoid defeat to harbour any hopes of progressing.
I expect a home win (the Reds have W10-D5-L1 in their past 16 Europa ties at Anfield) but it might not come in quite as champagne style as Sunday. The two teams have played eight matches between them so far in the Europa League and all but one of those have produced Under 2.5 Goals.
Throw in the fact, seven of Liverpool’s last nine in front of their home fans in this competition have failed to break the Over 2.5 Goals barrier, with Bordeaux following suit in six of their most recent 10 Europa road trips, and a low-scoring victory stands out.
Les Girondins have W1-D3-L6 of those 10 away days and Boylesports are offering 5/2 on a Liverpool win and Under 2.5 Goals. Big.
Liverpool v Bordeaux – Liverpool to win and Under 2.5 Goals (5/2 Boylesports)
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