A place in the Capital One Cup Final is up for grabs as Liverpool aim to protect their first leg over Stoke on Tuesday. Chris Graham (@chrisgraham79) previews the action.
Liverpool v Stoke | Tuesday 19:45 | Sky Sports 1
Oh Liverpool! Life is never straight-forward trying to predict what happens in your matches eh? To be fair, on Saturday I was very sweet on the Both Teams To Score bet and backed it accordingly against Norwich. But did you see the scoreline?
The chit-chat after the 5-4 win was dominated by their manager losing his specs and the unheralded joy that the winning goal brought to the club. That’s all good and well but you really shouldn’t be conceding four goals to Norwich.
Since the start of December Liverpool have kept five clean sheets but in contrast have conceded 19 goals within that same period. Norwich managed four against them, Arsenal and Watford three each and Exeter, Newcastle, West Brom and West Ham managed two apiece against Jurgen Klopp’s side.
One of their best performances of this two month spell came in the first leg against Stoke where they very much deserved their 1-0 victory. It’s put them in a powerful position here at Anfield.
Opponents Stoke were on many people’s value lists at the weekend as they went to the King Power Stadium to face Leicester. Stoke were squashed 3-0 in what was their heaviest defeat of the season and they’ve lost captain Ryan Shawcross for a month or so to injury.
The loss of Shawcross is a tough blow for the Potters and their away record doesn’t inspire the same level of confidence as their fearsome home record does.
Arsenal were too strong for them at the Emirates back in September in a 2-0 win and as mentioned above Leicester cruised past them 3-0 on Saturday. Glimmers of hope lie with their draw at Tottenham in August and 4-3 win at Goodison between Christmas and New Year.
One key thing about this tie (perhaps unlike the other semi-final?) is that both teams will be 100% up for this. Stoke haven’t reached a League Cup final since 1972 while Jurgen Klopp has a massive opportunity to kick start his tenure.
Backing Liverpool at odds on should come with a health warning but if Stoke are determined to push this game they should find opportunities. The Potters need to show some aggression and with being 1-0 down in the tie they must score.
At 7/5 Over 2.5 Goals and Both Teams To Score appeals. But having said all that it really depends which Liverpool decide to turn up. Have a big bet at your peril.
Liverpool v Stoke – Over 2.5 Goals and Both Teams To Score (7/5 William Hill)
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