Prediction & odds for the game: Liverpool (1/4) v Leeds (9/1)
When: Saturday, 12th September @ 5.30pm K.O
Old rivals Liverpool and Leeds United will meet on the opening weekend of the new Premier League season in a champions vs champions encounter.
It’s a new season for the Champions of England and the Champions of the World, and yet, there doesn’t appear to be quite as much excitement or anticipation surrounding the red half of Liverpool as you might expect. Jurgen Klopp has been able to build a fantastic squad but some still believe he needs to strengthen even further, especially with the mounting challenge that is set to come from the likes of Manchester City and Chelsea over the next few months.
The Reds have been busier than a lot of clubs in pre-season, starting off with a nice 3-0 win over Stuttgart. They went on to barely rescue a draw against Salzburg, but against Arsenal in the Community Shield, Rhian Brewster went from hero to zero as he missed the crucial penalty to ensure the Gunners took home the trophy. They then battered Blackpool 7-2, but not before going 2-0 down.
Marcelo Bielsa has ensured that Leeds United fans are proud to support their club for the first time in a long time, and that’s a testament to his character and resilience. They went up as champions and they’ll go into the new campaign full of confidence, and while it may have been 16 years since they were able to call themselves a top flight club, we don’t think they’re going to have all too many problems settling in.
Bielsa seems to be waiting it out before really seeing what this squad can do in pre-season, almost as if he wants to keep his plans to himself. Nobody really knows what to expect from them one way or the other, but it’s worth remembering that one result doesn’t define a season.
Leeds are still going to be working out the kinks before they’re really settled as a Premier League team once again, and they’re going up against a Liverpool side that also has a few issues they need to work out. We aren’t expecting the kind of classic that some will be hoping for but we do think the reigning PL champions are going to struggle, and while it may not be a great watch for the neutral, it’ll be interesting for the tacticians out there. We’re going to go with Liverpool to win, but it’s going to be closer than people think.
With a game that we expect to be fairly dull, of course, there won’t be many goals, which is why we’re backing the under 2.5 goals market.
Verdict: Back the home win at odds of 1/4 and the under 2.5 goals scored at odds of 6/4 (All odds are taken from bet365).