Prediction: Liverpool vs Leeds United

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Verdict: Sadio Mane scores

Best odds: 19/20

Bookmaker: Unibet

Liverpool are set to host Leeds United at Anfield on Thursday in a match that was postponed some time ago at Leeds’ request due to a heavy COVID-19 crisis in Marcelo Bielsa’s squad.

liverpool

The title race in the Premier League took a rather surprising turn this past weekend. Just a few weeks ago, no one could have imagined that Manchester City’s grip on the crown was in any kind of danger. A recent 1-1 draw against Southampton, however, shook the foundation a bit, and the shocking 2-3 defeat at the Etihad in the hands of Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday has thrown everything out the window.

With a match in hand on the defending champions and still facing them at the Etihad, Liverpool are six points behind and they obviously have a lot more to say in this race than anyone would have thought. Therefore, this clash against Leeds is of huge importance for their chances of snatching what would be their 20th title, which is equivalent to the record currently owned by Manchester United.

In terms of form, the match could not have come at a better time for Jurgen Klopp’s team. Still undefeated in 2022 in any competition, Liverpool boasts a streak of six wins at the moment, consisting of a 1-3 away win at Crystal Palace, a 3-1 win over Cardiff City in the FA Cup, a 2- 0 home win over Leicester City, a 0-1 away win over Burnley, a 0-2 win over Inter Milan in Italy in the first match of their Champions League 16 round and a 3-1 home win over Norwich City on Saturday .

After a rather lame first half, the Canary Islands took the lead through a rejected shot from Milot Rashica in the 48th minute. Liverpool then increased their game and Sadio Mane made a beautiful equalizer in the 64th, followed by goalkeeper Alisson Becker who assisted Mohamed Salah for the Reds’ second goal, Salahs 150th for the club. Finally, a move of 34 passes went on, ending with a sublime replay from captain Jordan Henderson, ahead of January, with Luis Diaz scoring his first.

Keep up to date

In the absence of both Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino, Diaz started that fight with Mane and Salah. It will likely happen again, with Klopp confirming that Jota and Firmino will remain unavailable on Wednesday. Alternatively, there could be room for Divock Origi or Takumi Minamino.

Fabinho was rested against the Canary Islands and is set to repeat his place in the middle of the park, just like Thiago Alcantara, who started on the bench on Saturday and came to deliver a brilliant performance later. It will be interesting to see if Harvey Elliott starts with them in midfield as he has recovered from a broken ankle he sustained in the reverse match earlier in the season. Defenders Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson should also return to starting XI in place of Joe Gomez and Kostas Tsimikas.

Leeds United

Meanwhile, the situation is somewhat different for Leeds. After capturing the sympathy of many in their first season back in the Premier League after 16 years in 2020-21, they have struggled a lot during this period and if they manage to escape relegation, that will be all they can do.

Bielsa’s team is currently in 15th place with 23 points, five more than Watford, who top the danger zone, with Everton and Newcastle (both 22) squeezed in between. Watford have only Burnley and Norwich behind them, who sit at the bottom of the pit with 17 points.

As for their latest form, the last six races for Leeds consist of a 2-0 defeat away to West Ham in the FA Cup, but then they managed to get revenge on the Hammers by beating them 2-3 in the league at . London Stadium again. Nevertheless, they lost three of their last four matches, starting with 0-1 at home against Newcastle, before playing a 3-3 draw away to Aston Villa, losing 3-0 away to Everton and eventually 2-4 at home to Manchester United . .

After hitting two goals down for the Red Devils (Harry Maguire 34th minute, Bruno Fernandes in the first half break), it looked like Leeds were back on track when Rodrigo Moreno and Raphinha struck in 53rd and 54th to determine the result. But it was Fred (70th) and Anthony Elanga (88th) who had the last word for the guests.

Keep up to date

Defender Robin Koch has to miss this match after withdrawing from the Manchester United showdown after 30 minutes due to fears of a concussion. Defensive colleague Liam Cooper, midfielder Kalvin Phillips (both thighs) and striker Sam Greenwood (knees) are also out.

But the biggest problem is probably the absence of striker Patrick Bamford, who missed two months between late September and late November due to an ankle injury, came back to a fight and got a hamstring problem that still keeps him out. .

Luke Ayling and Stuart Dallas should flank Diego Llorente and Pascal Struijk in defense, with Adam Foreshaw and Mateusz Klich as the double focal point in the middle of the park. Further up, the trio of Raphinha, Jack Harrison and Daniel James will likely start in support of Rodrigo Moreno.

Conclusion

Liverpool are big favorites to emerge victorious from this match and the end result is likely to be more one-sided than the actual match on the pitch. After scoring a fantastic goal against Norwich, Mane will look to continue the streak after returning with the victory from the African Cup of Nations.

Verdict: Sadio Mane scores

Best odds: 19/20

Bookmaker: Unibet



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