Aston Villa are unlikely to have to bear the early onslaught that undid so many of Liverpool’s adversaries last season if the Merseysiders first few matches are anything to go by.
The Villans are 91/100 in the half-time double-chance market at bwin.com and prevailing trends suggest there’s every reason they can land the odds.
As last season wore on Brendan Rodgers’ goal-hungry charges earned a reputation for banging out rivals early, like a classy boxing prospect disposing with bum fighters on his way up the rankings.
They bagged 16 more opening-stanza goals (60) than any other Premier League side, doubling the quota of third-highest first-half scorers Chelsea in the process.
Fast forward a campaign and evidence they’ve retained their lightning pace from the gun is less than overwhelming.
They’ve netted a far more modest twice in three games before the break so far in 2014/15, shipping once.
Tellingly, despite their utter dominance of Tottenham at White Hart Lane, Raheem Sterling’s eighth-minute strike was all that separated the sides come the oranges.
Villa visit Anfield with a surprisingly decent recent record of a win and two draws form their last three matches at the venerable old stadium.
On each occasion they’d done their best work early doors, heading into the break with their noses in front.
With that in mind, more trend-loving Villans may prefer to shun the half-time double-chance wager on their idols in favour of a braver 13/2 that the second-city side are leading when the opening 45 minutes is done and dusted.
One thing’s for sure Paul Lambert’s men have yet to be caught napping so far this term – they’ve conceded a solitary league goal all season and that came after the interval.
For those who prefer their match-betting straight up Liverpool are 3/10 to glean maximum reward from the fixture, with Aston Villa 35/4 for victory and the draw a 4/1 bet.