Liverpool vs Atalanta | Wednesday 25th November 2020, 20:00 | BT Sport
Liverpool have gone 3/3 so far in their attempts to win back their 2018/19 Champions League trophy. What’s even more impressive is the fact they’ve kept three clean sheets against teams that can cause defences headaches, even without their usual back four.
Jurgen Klopp has been moaning in the press about the heavy fixture schedule having an adverse effect on his side, with the injuries mounting up and he does have a valid point. It will fire him up even more to get the win here and secure qualification so he can rest key players in the final two group games.
The Reds blew Atalanta away in Bergamo a few weeks back with a scintillating performance. Few teams can be so deadly on the counter attack as Liverpool were that night and if La Dea leave themselves as open as they did then, well, it could get silly.
Watching the market a few days before Liverpool’s game with Leicester was very interesting. They went out to even-money to win given their injury issues, a price seldom seen on them at Anfield against anyone, they went off around 4/5 but still deservedly won 3-0 and looked so comfortable in doing so.
Liverpool have seen the money for this one after that impressive display on Sunday night and the fact Mo Salah is back after testing negative for covid. Naby Keita did pick up a knock though so it’s good news that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is on the verge of a return to the first team. Nat Phillips could also come back in at centre-half ad Fabinho pushes forward to aid Gini Wijnaldum and Curtis Jones in midfield.
The Reds' home record is quite outrageous, everyone knows how good it is. It’s little surprise to see me siding with the hosts but I’ll chuck in over 1.5 goals to make it a backable 4/5 shot with Betway.
I think if Atalanta do bring their attacking A game, they will still get outscored by this Liverpool side and the Italians are far from solid defensively, the games against the truly elite are where they struggle, for all their excellent forward play.
I do wonder if Liverpool will be more inclined to sit off and not press with their usual intensity, given the hectic schedule Klopp has bemoaned. If they drag the visitors out they could lull them into a false sense of security and pummel them on the break, whilst conserving energy. They usually dominate the ball but they have let the opposition knock it about a bit too of late.
Bet365 have priced up Atalanta centre halves Cristian Romero and Rafael Toloi in the passes market and I’m tempted by the overs on their lines of 35.5 and 39.5 respectively. Romero has surpassed this line in every single start he has had this season whilst Toloi has beaten that threshold in every start this season too, including 46 in the reverse fixture.
Centre halves for Leicester, Man City and Everton against Liverpool have racked up 48, 62, 79, 85, 52 and 44 passes and Atalanta ranked sixth for possession domestically with 52.6% average share of the ball. If Liverpool do go a few goals up they may well sit in and these lines look a bit too low for me.