Joining news.bwin.com/en/ editor Chris Bryant to shout the odds are David Segar, who will fight Liverpool’s corner, with Joe Vidler speaking up for Wolves. You can read a full betting preview of the match here.
CB: Roy Hodgson’s doomed Anfield reign came to an end when he lost this fixture last year so it holds some bad memories for Liverpool fans. Is another upset on the cards?
DS: Despite losing their last two league games without scoring, and last season’s debacle, I just can’t see anything but a home win in this one. King Kenny’s men will be wanting to prove something to the Kop faithful after the horrendous showing at Tottenham last week, and after bouncing back with a win against Brighton in midweek, and given that Wolves have also experienced a dip in league form, it should be business as usual at Anfield. The Reds will surely oblige at 7/20.
JV: The good thing for Wolves is that they travel there with the knowledge that they can pull off a win. They have also improved on their squad from last season, adding some useful defenders, which should help them with tough away days like this. If Wolves can get a grip of the game (something they didn’t manage last weekend against QPR) and frustrate Liverpool, they could force the home team to lose their discipline, especially with the added pressure from the Kop to win. They must be worth a small punt at 8/1.
CB: The pressure will definitely on Liverpool to get the job done. What do you think the score will be?
DS: I’m going for 3-1 to Liverpool at . Not just because that was the score when the Reds beat Bolton, but because they haven’t scored more than three in any game this season and have kept just one clean sheet. The defence’s uncanny knack for causing Pepe Reina to boot his poor goalpost in frustration has led to a high number of goals conceded, including three penalties, so a consolation for Wolves is a high probability. However, given the eagerness to impress, the form of the likes of Luis Suarez, Dirk Kuyt and Craig Bellamy, and the return of Steven Gerrard to the squad, Liverpool’s firepower should be enough to make it a comfortable home win.
JV: In the last five meetings between the two, the winning side has kept a clean sheet. Should Wolves find the net, they will probably win by either 1-0, 2-0 or 3-0, so I’ll be on bwin’s 12/1 for any of these scorelines to occur. Both Wolves and Liverpool have had clean sheets either for or against them in four out of their five Premier League games this season.
CB: Who should punters be considering for goalscorer betting?
DS: Punters may be understandably nervous at backing Suarez to score first, as despite his three strikes so far, he has missed a penalty, an open goal, a couple of one-on-one situations and hit the woodwork in his appearances this season. However, the hunger is there to see, and what makes a great striker is one who can get into the positions to have those chances. Sooner or later the finishing instinct which saw him score 81 goals in 108 games for Ajax, added to the 21 in 49 he’s bagged for Uruguay, should return and when it does, watch out Premier League. His explosive style also means he gives defenders headaches right from the first whistle, and many teams will be able to tell you how annoying a buzzing El Pistolero can be in the opening 20 minutes of a match.
JV: Stephen Ward got the winner last year and he is a 9/2 anytime goalscorer. But realistically I’ll be looking towards Steven Fletcher and Kevin Doyle, who are more definite options to score, being Wolves’ main targets from crosses from their skilful wingers. Obviously it might be worth waiting until the teams are announced as one of them will probably be on the bench, but they’re 9/1 and 10/1 respectively to score the first goal.
CB: Right then, any other tips you’d like to make news.bwin.com/en/ readers aware of?
DS: Liverpool’s loss last week can be traced back to their slow start, which was the first game this season where they didn’t race out of the blocks and try to put early pressure on the opposition. Once again in their 2-1 win over Brighton in midweek, the Reds were imperious in the first half, scoring one and hitting the woodwork three times. However, they are yet to score more than one first half goal this season, and have led 1-0 at the break in both of their home games so far, which seems like a good pattern to follow at 11/5.
JV: I’m almost certain Wolves will score. Anfield is far from the fortress it used to be, and only two positions and goal difference separate Liverpool from Wolves. King Kenny’s men got a good spanking at Spurs last week (who Wolves only lost 2-0 to), so Wolves should be able to cash in on their nerves – they’re at 4/5 to score in the match.
DS: Liverpool have scored twice as many goals in the second half of games this season as they have in the first (two and four, if you’re interested) so considering I’m backing one to be scored in the opening 45, two more would be the logical prediction for the second half. Wolves will try and sit back early on and ‘park the bus’, as they did last season to great effect at Anfield. However, should Liverpool break that resistance in the first half (and I think they will), then Mick McCarthy’s charges will be forced to come out more, and that should lead to more goals at either end. Also, Liverpool are likely to name a strong bench including Andy Carroll, Gerrard and hat-trick specialist Maxi Rodriguez, so the 39/20 odds on the second half having more goals in it than the first seem like a fantastic opportunity to me.
CB: Thanks a lot for your thoughts, guys – speak to you next weekend no doubt.
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