16th February 2013
Liverpool have yet to record a win against a top half team this season, with 0-7-7 record something that should give the Reds an extra incentive to try and beat high-flying Swansea. The Welsh side currently sit just five points behind sixth-placed Everton, meaning they could easily join the race for European places if they manage to get something from Anfield.
Just when it seemed that Liverpool might just be able to get something from this season, they go and record two disappointing defeats to extend their winless run to five games in all competitions. Back to back losses to West Brom and Zenit must have served as a big blow to the players’ confidence after they had produced very good displays against Arsenal and Manchester City, so there will be a lot riding on this game. Brendan Rodgers will be delighted to welcome Daniel Sturridge back to the side after injury, with the forward’s excellent showings at the start of his career at Anfield hinting he will prove to be the signing of the season for the Reds. Philippe Coutinho is also available after he was cup-tied for the Zenit match, and he could be handed his full debut having returned to full fitness. Lucas Leiva is set to return to the starting line-up, but Martin Kelly and John Flanagan remain on the sidelines.
There are just seven days to go until the biggest match in club’s history, with Capitol One Cup final against Bradford scheduled for next Sunday, so it is fair to say nobody at the club would be too disappointed if the Swans fail to get something from the Liverpool game. However, after recording a 4-1 victory over QPR last weekend, Michael Laudrup’s side will be hoping to keep their spirits high with another rock-solid display on the road, although the fact they failed to score in last four away fixtures as well as in six of last seven is definitely a cause for concern. Injury to star defender Chico Flores came at the worst possible time, with Kyle Bartley and Gary Monk vying for a place alongside Ashley Williams. The Swans recharged their batteries ahead of the season finale at a training camp in Dubai, and it remains to be seen whether a mini break can help the team bring at least one point from Anfield.
With Liverpool failing to score in their last two games and Swansea not finding the net in three of last four, chances should be few and far between at Anfield. Taking also into account that last three Premier League meetings between the two sides produced a single goal, under 2.5 looks a safe bet here.
Verdict: Under 2.5 goals
Best Odds: 13/10