Liverpool’s draw against Sunderland on the opening day of the season leaves the fifth favourites to win the Premiership in a potentially tough position after two games with Arsenal the next opponents for Kenny Dalglish’s men. Most Liverpool fans are simply hoping for a consistent season after last seasons’s yoyo efforts but it would be disappointing if Liverpool are left with just a point from two games – but that is exactly what the bookies are predicting.
Arsenal have been made favourites to win the live game on Saturday and can currently be backed at 11/8 which makes them much more fancied than Liverpool who are rated at 9/4 whilst the draw is available at 12/5. It is perhaps the draw that makes the most appeal at the current odds, this fixture ended 1-1 last season in an amazing encounter that saw Dirk Kuyt equalise with a penalty in the 100th minute. If anything Liverpool have got stronger since then and Arsenal have got weaker but Arsenal have been written off after the departure of Patrick Vieira and Thierry Henry and they are still up there. At the time of writing Samir Nasri is still an Arsenal player and Robin Van Persie is fit to play so whilst those two players are available the draw looks a good bet.
Arsenal have been much stronger defensively since Thomas Vermaelen returned from injury and with so much at stake so early in the season there might not be as many goals as the pundits will be predicting so under 2.5 goals gets the vote at 4/5. If the game is to have less than 2.5 goals and ends in a draw then the only possible outcomes are 0-0 and 1-1, it is the latter that makes more appeal in a repeat of last year’s scoreline, that outcome can be backed at 6/1 but 0-0 does look good value at 10/1 so that should be worth a small saver.
Luis Suarez stole the headlines last weekend with a missed penalty and the first goal of the game so he will be popular to open the scoring again this week, don’t expect the 7/1 on the Uruguayan to score first to last too long as 5/1 looks more the price for that, he certainly looks sharper than Andy Carroll who is rated at 15/2. Carroll has shown glimpses of quality but still needs to work on his all round game if he is to fit in at Liverpool. Arsenal never really looked like scoring last weekend against Newcastle but if there is a likely scorer in their team it has to be Robin Van Persie, 9/2 is a fair price on the Dutchman to score first and if Arsenal score than Van Persie probably scores.
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