Rubin Kazan v Liverpool – Kazan Arena at 18:00 live on BT Sport Europe
Liverpool travel to Russia this evening for their 4th group match in the Europa League. After 3 successive 1-1 draws, Klopp’s men are good value to pick up their first 3 points in the competition and take a step closer to making the knock-out stages.
They face Rubin Kazan who are currently 1 point behind the Reds in 3rd with 2 points from their opening 3 matches. They earned a point in the reverse fixture at Anfield two weeks ago despite playing most of the match with 10-men after captain Oleg Kuzmin was sent off.
Arguably, losing a man as Kazan did, might have helped the Russian’s as they concentrated on defending which thwarted Klopp’s counter-attacking style. Tonight I expect Kazan to be more attack-minded and look for 3 points which should play into Liverpool’s hands.
The Reds recorded their first win under their new manager at the weekend thanks to a solid second half performance against Chelsea, running out 3-1 winners. Confidence will be high and Jurgen Klopp has taken his strongest squad available to him, showing he’s taking this competition seriously.
Liverpool are unbeaten in their last 11 domestically and in Europe but had been struggling for goals, not managing to score more than 1 in 9 of those 11. The 3 against Chelsea were partly down to a very weak Blues defence but with Benteke fit and Coutinho looking sharp, I expect them to only improve going forward.
Rubin Kazan have had a terrible start to their domestic season, losing 9 of their 14 matches leaving them only above the relegation zone on goal difference.
They come into the match on the back of a 2-1 away win against Anzhi but have lost 4 of their last 6 matches at home in the Russian Premier league. They are unbeaten on home soil in 3 European matches this term, 1 win, 2 draws, but with Kuzmin suspended and striker Portyagin injured, I think they will lose that record this evening.
Rubin have done fairly well against English sides in the past, winning 3, losing 2 and drawing 2, all three wins coming in Russia. They have also qualified for the knock-out stages in each of the their last 3 Europa campaigns but unless they avoid defeat this evening, I can’t see them making it this time round.
Liverpool will be on a high after their win over Chelsea and if, as I expect, they field a strong side, as well as being more clinical than 2 weeks ago, backing them at 1.95 -0.5 on the Asian Handicap is good value.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Liverpool -0.5 at 1.95
Prices correct at the time of writing.
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