Maribor can post improved effort on trip to Merseyside
Little mileage in taking skinny prices about inconsistent Reds
Champions League Group E
BT Sport ESPN & Showcase, 7.45pm Wednesday
The Reds, in spite of their own limitations and consistencies, are no better than 1-20 for the return fixture with 3-0 and 4-0 home wins the favourites in correct-score betting.
Yet this is a Liverpool side who have failed to win nine of their 16 matches this season.
We all know when they click they are sublime and once in a while everything comes together. It happened against Arsenal and also against Maribor.
But there can’t be any mileage in taking daft odds about a team who simply cannot be trusted.
Maribor, blown away at home, never recovered from being three down inside 19 minutes and were chasing the game early on. But, as the away team and still in the hunt for third spot in Group E, they will surely tighten up from the off at Anfield and endeavour to deny Liverpool space in midfield as well as making sure they aren’t isolated in any foot races.
They look seriously limited and will do well to land any blows of their own – hence the 4-9 that both teams don’t score and 1-2 that Liverpool win to nil – but Liverpool bloodbaths are rare these days and there’s no way it can be guaranteed this evening.
Of course they should win – a 1-0 scoreline would do Jurgen Klopp fine apparently – but Maribor know what to expect this time. The Liverpool win and under 4.5 goals at 5-6 looks a decent punt.
Maribor’s implosion against Liverpool was certainly out of character. In their elongated Champions League campaign – Wednesday's game is their tenth of the tournament – the Slovenian champs leaked just eight goals in their first eight assignments. Then, when Liverpool visited, the roof caved in.
Domestically, they have let in just eight goals in 14 games and have chalked up a pair of 1-0 league wins since the Liverpool match.
Boss Darko Milanic has taken his best available group to Anfield and he’ll be expecting a response because their tournament is far from over. They can be backed at 80-1 which, by any measure, is a fairly staggering price.
Liverpool & under 4.5 goals
2pts 5-6 Betfair
Sadio Mane and Adam Lallana are non-runners. Dejan Lovren, Philippe Coutinho, Alberto Moreno and Joe Gomez face late tests.
Long-term absentees, defender Denis Sme and striker Luka Zahovic, are not in Maribor’s 22-man party.
Nineteen out of Maribor’s 24 matches this season have produced four goals or less.
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