Liverpool conclude their pre-season preparations with a mouth-watering International Champions Cup clash with Barcelona, which will be held at a sold-out Wembley Stadium.
The Reds’ friendly form dipped once the level of competition of intensified, with two losses posted from the three non-competitive games since the start of the ICC.
Barcelona, unsurprisingly, have cruised through their pre-season schedule, despite being shorter than their two foes faced in terms of match sharpness.
Both Celtic and Leicester City had more miles on the clock when they collided with Los Blaugrana, but the incredible class reserves available to Luis Enrique rendered fitness immaterial, with their respective opponents beaten by 3-1 and 4-2 scorelines.
Their scintillating form in the final third has understandably seen them installed as 65/100 favourites, creating an opportunity for the profit-hunting punters out there to make the worthy 3/1 wager about a Liverpool victory.
In four meetings with the Spanish champions outside of Anfield, Jurgen Klopp’s side have failed to prevail just once and only leaked a solitary goal.
With three clean sheets from three friendlies thus far, Liverpool’s rearguard will present Barcelona with a sterner test than which Celtic and Leicester provided.
Enrique’s men may have fired seven past their previous two adversaries, but they gave up three at the other end. With the great pace and ingenuity in the Reds’ new-fangled frontline, any defensive carelessness from the Spaniards will be punished.
Manchester United, Fiorentina and Chelsea all overcame the Catalans either in regulation time or via penalties in the previous instalment of the ICC, so at such a steep price, Liverpool must be backed.
As far as side bets go, the 11/5 about more goals falling in the first half (it’s just 9/10 that the second half sees the net bulge most) looks valuable.
It’s copped in two of Liverpool’s last three friendlies, while Barca found the net three times in the opening 45 of their two ICC matches to date.