WLB contributor Ross Casey (@RossCasey24) shares his verdict on Saturday evening’s Premier League clash between Liverpool and Brighton.
Liverpool v Brighton | Saturday 25th August 2018, 17:30 | BT Sport
You get the impression that Jurgen Klopp finally has a squad that he desires and it is paying fruition now with his frenetic attacking play being complimented by a far more secure back-line. Gone are the thrilling 4-3 type scorelines – they have been replaced with solid wins on the road and some dominating performances at home.
There appears to be a genuine fear factor about playing Liverpool now, while the likes of Man Utd now losing that stigma. Most see Liverpool as the only genuine contenders to Man City this season and their results and performances so far suggest that may well be the case.
They have plenty of confidence heading into this fixture after two victories and the fact they are unbeaten in each of their last 22 Premier League games at Anfield.
Brighton defeated Man Utd 3-2 last weekend with a great first half performance in particular, but that victory came on home soil which is where they are at their best. Last season, they picked up just two wins on the road, with 11 points of their 40 secured on their travels.
Can they secure what would be their first Premier League away win since November 2017?
Everyone knows all about Liverpool by now and their dominance of West Ham and Crystal Palace has laid down a marker to the rest of the teams in this division along with Man City. New signing Naby Keita has settled in brilliantly and he’ll add to what is already an incredible frontline of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino.
You’d always back Jurgen Klopp’s men to score goals and I can see that happening again here – especially with Lewis Dunk likely out for the away side. Liverpool have already scored six times this season and in their home game against West Ham they were somewhat unlucky to only score four!
Only Man City and Arsenal scored more at home than Liverpool last season and considering they netted 17 in their last four games against Brighton you will have to assume more are on their way on Saturday evening.
You can back Liverpool to win at around 1/6 best price, so we will have to look elsewhere for our selection.
As already mentioned, Brighton are not a side that travel well so far in the Premier League. In their debut season, they were only able to defeat West Ham and Swansea away from home with their last away league victory coming in November.
That continued again at Watford in their opening game of this season, where they lost 2-0. It is something that needs addressing, but let’s face it, Anfield isn’t likely the place they will get it right. Chris Hughton has lost his last 12 away matches against the Premier League’s ‘big six’ teams, seeing his teams scoring three times while conceding 38.
The bad news goes on, too – he’s lost all five of his Premier League matches against Liverpool, with his sides conceding at least four goals in every game!
The betting angle
Liverpool score for fun at home, Brighton are poor away and Hughton seems incapable of setting up a side to avoid a trouncing against the big six, we have to look at those as the key facts here for our selection.
Two bets stand out to me. The in-form Sadio Mane can be backed at 6/5 (Coral) to score anytime – he’s scored three goals in just two games. We can also back four or more goals to be scored. That’s 6/5 (Ladbrokes), too.
Both of these selections are odds-against and worth a play in my book.