News of the training ground injury that has ruled Danuel Sturridge out England’s Euro 2016 qualifier with Switzerland will be demoralising for punting patriots.
However, for those who gamble under the international ensign of pragmatism, it offers up a temptingly-priced betting opportunity.
The Three Lions will be without their most in-form marksman as they attempt to stop Vladimir Petkovic’s 33/20 favourites landing the odds.
But the wager in question relates more specifically to Aston Villa’s chances of taking at least a point home from Anfield next weekend.
While the length of his lay-off has yet to be reported, it must rate unlikely he’ll be back to full speed in time for the clash on Merseyside.
Paul Lambert’s strong-starting side are 11/4 shots in bwin’s double-chance betting, but are unlikely to remain as long if it is confirmed Sturridge will miss the fixture.
Let’s not forget…Villa are unbeaten in three visits to Anfield and those who sign up for a new account today at bwin.com can claim a £30 free bet that cops to the tune of an £82.50 profit if they hold firm once more.
Here’s why it’s worth wolfing down the odds while they’re hot…
Neither Rickie Lambert nor Mario Balotelli seem up to speed with Liverpool’s style yet.
That Lambert is not yet whirring along at the same frantic rhythm as Jordan Henderson, Raheem Sterling and co is clear from how sparingly he has been used.
Meanwhile, for all the Italian’s class he will need time to understand the subtleties of his new teammates’ movements.
While he will be able to work on his fitness, thanks to Italy coach Antonio Conte’s decision to drop him from the squad, opportunities to foster club cohesion will be hampered with the aforementioned teammates representing their nations.
Balotelli doesn’t do assists, Sturridge does.
Being without the former Chelsea man will deprive Brendan Rodgers’ men of creativity in the centre-forward position.
Sturridge set up no fewer than seven goals last season and the absence of his educated link up play will give Aston Villa’s miserly rearguard one less thing to think about.
Sturridge scored two of Liverpool’s three goals against the Villans in 2013/14
Lambert’s troops were tough nuts to crack for the Merseysiders last term and without the boy from Birmingham’s goals against them, his club would have been four points worse off at the end of the campaign.