Sunderland vs. Liverpool: EPL Betting Preview
Always tricky to know exactly what to expect after an international break but the Premier League returns this weekend with some terrific looking matches and none more so than at the Stadium of Light on Saturday.
Liverpool’s stars left for World Cup duty nearly a fortnight ago on the back of consecutive away defeats against Fiorentina and Chelsea, both by a 2-0 score line, and it’s debatable whether the enforced period off will have done them any good.
I’m sure Rafa Benitez would have loved the chance for his men to make up for those disappointments immediately but he was robbed of the opportunity and now also has fitness concerns over his indispensible duo. >
Liverpool rely almost exclusively on the services of captain Steven Gerrard and Spanish striker Fernando Torres these days but the pair picked up knocks while away with their countries and their participation on the weekend is in doubt. I’m convinced they’ll feature, Benitez simply can’t do without them, but whether or not Liverpool will be good enough to claim all three points in the north-east I’m not so sure.
Just two points separate Liverpool and Saturday’s opponents Sunderland ahead of their clash and a win for Steve Bruce’s men would see the home side leap above the Reds in the Premier League table.
That might be asking too much of the Black Cats, I’m sure they’d settle for a point, but Sunderland really impressed at Old Trafford last time out when they thoroughly deserved a victory, not the draw they left with, and the majority of Bruce’s players will be chomping at the bit after two weeks without kicking a ball in anger.
Sunderland’s success this season has been largely down to Darren Bent’s goals, he and partner Kenwyne Jones have combined for 12 in the English top flight already, but the roles that the likes of Lee Cattermole and new signing Michael Turner have had to play should not be underestimated and they are now a force to be reckoned with. >
Sunderland’s home form this season has been excellent, scoring 11 times when getting the better of Wolverhampton Wanderers, Hull City and Blackburn Rovers, and while some will point to their 3-1 defeat to Chelsea in front of their own fans Bruce’s side are vastly improved since then.
With Liverpool showing their frailties on more than one occasion already this season, they were also beaten 2-1 at White Hart Lane early on, I’m more than willing to lay them at odds on, especially away from home.
I’m kicking myself that I didn’t oppose them earlier in the week at around the 1.75 mark but fielding against the Anfield club at a fraction short of even money still represents value and the pressure on Benitez is mounting.
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