Anfield – Monday 29th December at 20:00 Live on Sky Sports 1
The final Premier League match of the year see’s Brendan Rodgers’ Liverpool take on his old club Swansea at Anfield. The Swans boss Gary Monk was Brendan Rodgers’ captain when he lead them to promotion into the Premier League three years ago and now sits 3 points above his opposition going into this evening.
Liverpool sit 11th in the table after a very inconsistent, poor start to the season. Since losing Suarez, they have failed to find the form which led them to be serious title contenders last season. Players brought in by Rodgers have yet to shine and the Reds are still missing Daniel Sturridge, arguably their second best player in last years campaign. Despite all the criticism Rodgers and Liverpool have been receiving, they have only lost once in their last 9 in all competitions, a 3-0 defeat to Man Utd, where the scoreline didn’t tell the real story. Liverpool have been playing well and creating chances, but failing to convert their chances and a habit of conceding too easily has left them with just 3 wins in 10 in the league. On Boxing Day, Liverpool played poorly but beat Burnley 1-0, a result many would have expected but after Burnley’s 2-2 draw with champions City yesterday, maybe this was a good result for the Reds. After Swansea, Liverpool have a run of 3 games facing opposition below them in the table and have an opportunity to put together a good run.
Gary Monk has had a decent season so far and sits in 8th place, but it’s their home form that has kept them in the top half of the table, 71% of their points have been earned at home. The Swans have only managed 2 wins on the road, one of those coming on the opening day of the season. They average only 1 goal per game away from home and concede an average of 1.5. Swansea seem to lack inventiveness and play very similarly week in week out despite their opposition. They are a decent side but their passing game alone may not get them the top half finish most expect.
This one could go either way, despite their poor start to the season, Liverpool are more than capable of beating Swansea at Anfield but I don’t see the value in backing them at 1.75. Instead, I’m more inclined to look at Swansea on the Asian Handicap. My recommended trade is to back Swansea +0.75 @ 1.98.
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