Liverpool v Leeds – Anfield at 19:45 live on Sky Sports 1
Liverpool and Leeds meet tomorrow night for their EFL quarter final match at Anfield. Both teams are going well in their leagues, with Leeds in particular improving all the time. However, on current form, it’s hard to see past a Reds win here. Their price has been drifting over the last couple of days and they now offer some value on the Asian Handicap market.
Last years losing finalists have made relatively light work of this years competition so far. They defeated Tottenham in the 4th round 2-1, thanks to a brace from Daniel Sturridge. Prior to Spurs, they faced 2 Championship clubs in Burton and Derby, both away from home winning both comfortably, 5-0 and 3-0 respectively. Liverpool enter the match as 1.24 favourites to despatch of their third Championship club and reach the semi final.
The Merseysiders’ win over Sunderland at the weekend, extended their unbeaten run to 14 matches. They now sit 2nd in the Premier League, just a point behind leaders Chelsea but suffered a blow on Saturday, losing Philippe Coutinho to injury.
The Brazilian, who has scored 5 goals and assisted 6 this season is suspected to have ankle ligament damage and could face the rest of 2016 on the sidelines. However, it would have been doubtful that Coutinho would have started this evening.
Jurgen Klopp has rotated his squad for this competition in the 3 previous matches. With injuries to Coutinho, Firmino, Lallana, long-term absentee Danny Ings and a doubtful Sturridge, we could see a mix of youth and experience tonight.
United are now up to 5th in the Championship after their 2-1 away win to Rotherham at the weekend. They have now lost just once in their last 6 league matches, a 2-0 home defeat at the hands of league leaders Newcastle.
There is some real momentum building for Leeds under Garry Monk. He has his players playing as a team and he’s getting the best out of them. However, they have made hard work of this competition so far.
They needed extra time and penalties to defeat League One outfit, Fleetwood Town before a narrow 1-0 away win against League Two’s Luton. Another narrow 1-0 win over Blackburn followed before again needing penalties to get past Norwich.
Like Klopp, Monk has rotated his players in the EFL Cup, using no fewer than 23 player so far in the competition. There is no doubt they will want to make the semi finals and in doing so increasing morale and confidence, but will Monk risk his best players with momentum gathering in the league?
They have a big game at the weekend against in-form Aston Villa so I think we could see the Leeds manager resting some players for this clash with Liverpool.
Liverpool are a bigger price against Leeds tomorrow than they were against Sunderland at the weekend. And they continue to drift. This can only be down to injuries and the expectation that Klopp will once against rotate. I think we could see a fairly strong Liverpool side here though. Klopp will want to go one better than last year and lift this trophy, and at this stage of the competition, he should be taking it seriously, especially against an in-form opponent.
Leeds are firmly underdogs and rightly so. Monk may choose to pick his strongest XI, but I think he will have one eye on the weekend. Even with his strongest starting lineup, I can’t see the visitors getting anything out of this match. I think they will keep it tight early on but walk away well beaten, just as Burton and Derby did when facing the Reds.
Don’t let Liverpool’s drifting price put you off here. The Asian Handicap line has moved from -2 to -1.75 and at 1.91, offers some real value.
Asian Handicap Recommendation: Liverpool -1.75 at 1.91
Prices correct at time of writing.
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