CAN Jurgen Klopp guide Liverpool to Europa League success in Russia on Thursday night? Willie Duncan (@Willie_Duncan) peruses the prices.
Rubin Kazan v Liverpool | Thursday 18.00 | BT Sport Europe
Liverpool became the latest in a long line of teams to kick Chelsea while the Blues are down, when winning 3-1 at Stamford Bridge at the weekend.
Until then, backing the Reds to draw was surely one of the safest bets in world football.
Prior to the win in West London, Jurgen Klopp’s side had drawn no fewer than seven of their previous nine matches – and had scored more than one goal on just one occasion in 15 competitive fixtures.
Will beating the Blues have a galvanising effect on Liverpool when they make the long trip to face Rubin Kazan in the Europa League? Probably not – but only because, with a crucial clash against Crystal Palace coming up this weekend, Klopp is likely to rest a number of his key men.
As it has been throughout the campaign thus far, it is likely to be a predominantly second-string Reds side that takes to the field in Russia on Thursday night.
Rubin are barely in red-hot form ahead of this clash, having won just two of their last 10 matches and each of their last six matches in this competition has featured fewer than three goals.
The Russian side’s rotten form means that they may well be more focused on preserving their top-flight status than progressing in Europe and this match could well prove to be something of a damp squib.
When all of these factors are considered, it seems fair to suggest that those expecting a glut of goals and a Thursday thriller from Russia may be left sorely disappointed.
However, with the odds compilers, unsurprisingly offering odds-on that fewer than three goals are scored when these sides meet, punters are forced to delve a little deeper to extract the value.
No fewer than seven of Liverpool’s last eight matches have been all-square at the halfway point and this is a market that appeals again here.
The half-time draw is chalked up at 11/10 (Bet365) and that looks to be the path to profit when Klopp’s Reds meet Rubin.
Rubin Kazan v Liverpool – Half-time draw (11/10 Bet365)
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