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Prediction: Liverpool vs Leeds

Verdict: Leeds +2 Asian handicap

Best Odds: 23/25

Bookmaker: bet365

After the 2-0 triumph over Sunderland ensured the Reds remained in second position in the Premier League standings, a much-changed side will attempt to secure progress to the EFL Cup semis. This is something that Championship high-flyers Leeds United will attempt to exploit, so we definitely expect to see an entertaining affair at Merseyside.

Liverpool

It is now clear that Jurgen Klopp just needed some time to rebuild the squad at Anfield and this has been one of the best starts to a league campaign in recent years. The Reds have managed to climb to second place in the standings despite the fact that Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal have also impressed in the opening exchanges, and they have every right to feel optimistic at the moment. Liverpool have looked every bit as title contenders, with attacking trio of Coutinho, Firmino and Mane especially impressive, but team’s shaky back line has also improved, keeping back to back clean sheets against Southampton and Sunderland. However, it appears that key men are already feeling the ill-effects of the busy start of the season, meaning that Klopp is unlikely to resist temptation to rest his first team regulars in the EFL Cup clash against Leeds United. And with the back-ups producing a very good display in the previous stage against Tottenham Hotspur, they have deserved another chance to prove the future is bright for the Anfield outfit. Having said that, the Reds will not have an easy job against in-form Leeds United, especially given the lack of experience in the team.

Team News

Jurgen Klopp has confirmed that Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino and Danile Sturridge are out injured, while Adam Lallana misses out as well.

Other first team regulars will also be rested as the likes of Alexander-Arnold, Stewart, Grujic, Ejaria and Woodburn get a chance to shine.

Leeds

Leeds United have largely failed in their attempts to return to the elite division and, to be fair, they didn’t even come close to securing promotion to the Premier League. But, after the club had made a smart decision to appoint former Swansea manager Garry Monk as their new boss, the Whites have shown a great deal of improvement. The squad are now well balanced when it comes to youth vs experience, while containing some former or current internationals such as Pablo Hernandez, Chris Wood and Eunan O’Kane, so they definitely have a lot going for them at the moment. Leeds United are currently on a very good run of results that saw them win five of last six matches, while only losing to Championship leaders Newcastle United, and they will certainly be hoping to extend the excellent streak at Anfield. The Whites have a unique chance to reach the EFL Cup semis as they will be facing a youthful Liverpool side, so we really don’t understand why the odds are stacked firmly against them. The Whites have defeated Wolves, Norwich City and Rotherham in their last three matches on the road, and we fully expect them to make life difficult for the Reds as well.

Team News

Manager Garry Monk welcomes back defender Pontus Jansson from suspension, but playmaker Pablo Hernandez is out injured.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Klopp is set to make 11 changes to the side that beat Sunderland
  • Leeds United won last three away matches
  • The Whites lost two of last four games at Anfield (W1 D1)
  • Their last four meetings produced 13 goals
  • Liverpool are unbeaten in last 14 fixtures (W11 D3)

Conclusion

With Jurgen Klopp almost certain to rest all his starters, the game at Anfield should be much closer than the bookmakers expect it to be. Leeds are flying high and very motivated to continue their EFL Cup campaign, whereas the Reds will be inferior in terms of experience and intensity that could prove crucial in games like these.

Verdict: Leeds +2 Asian handicap

Best Odds: 23/25

Bookmaker: bet365

Mon 28 Nov, 2016
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