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Wednesday, 19 December, 2018

Lively Liverpool should have too much firepower for Swansea

Rock-bottom Swans look set for more misery

Sadio Mane celebrates with Liverpool teammate Andy Robertson
1 of 1

Premier League
Sky Sports Premier League, 8pm Monday

Those who believe in the motto of "first is first and second is nowhere" won't be interested in the battle behind Manchester City in the Premier League but there is a fascinating three-way best-of-the-rest betting heat.

Bookmakers rate Manchester United 6-4 favourites in the market without City, while champions Chelsea are 11-4 and Liverpool are  sandwiched between the pair at 5-2. The Merseysiders can continue their magnificent form with a high-scoring win at rock-bottom Swansea.

Liverpool, a bit like Arsenal, are a club with a huge influence in all forms of media, including the modern social channels as well as their heavy presence of former players as TV pundits which creates dramatic mood swings depending on their results.

Given some of the overreaction to the odd poor performace it's easy to forget the Reds have lost just two Premier League matches this season and only three in total.

A weakened line-up saw them knocked out of the League Cup at Leicester despite a dominant display, while their league losses, albeit heavy ones, were away to City and Tottenham.

Jurgen Klopp's men are still in the FA Cup and Champions League and showed they have every right to at least be in the discussion to be the Premier League's second-best team following last week's thrilling 4-3 triumph over the previously unbeaten City.

The attacking aspect of their game was in perfect working order with Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah scoring, even though stardust was lost from their midfield this month with the sale of Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona.

Swansea, beaten 5-0 at Anfield only last month, are unlikely to be capable of stopping Liverpool making it six wins on the spin and the visitors are rightly considered long odds-on favourites.

A better bet could be to take Liverpool to win in a game featuring over 2.5 goals. 

Klopp's side have won 19 of their 33 matches in all competitions this season and 18 of those victories would have also landed for over-2.5 goals backers.

The main issue has been a lack of clean sheets - they have recorded just two away shutouts in the Premier League this season - but on those occasions Liverpool scored three at Stoke and four at Bournemouth. The only other opposition blank came in the Champions League when they scored seven at Maribor.

Swansea have already lost 4-0 at home to both Manchester clubs but those were prior to Carlos Carvalhal's appointment.

Carvalhal is hardly a saviour but he has brought positivity to the Welsh club. Swansea have forced ten shots on target in his three league games which suggests they will land the odd counter-punch.

Liverpool to win & over 2.5 goals
1pt 20-23 BoyleSports, Coral, Ladbrokes

Bet on this game at

Team news
Mike van der Hoorn, Tammy Abraham and Renato Sanches could return. Angel Rangel is a definite absentee.

Jordan Henderson and Alberto Moreno are close to a return but this game comes too soon, while Dejan Lovren is doubtful. Mo Salah and Ragnar Klavan are expected to overcome illness. 

Key stat
Roberto Firmino has scored five goals in his last three appearances against Swansea.

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Roberto Firmino has scored five goals in his last three appearances against Swansea
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