Liverpool can secure qualification to the Champions League knockout round with victory at home to Atalanta at Anfield on Wednesday. Mark O'Haire shares his best bet.
"The depleted Liverpool outfit were rampant from the first whistle as they established a new club record of 64 home league games unbeaten in fine style"
Liverpool v Atalanta
Wednesday November 25, 20:00
Liverpool excel at Anfield
Liverpool shrugged off their recent injury crisis with an outstanding performance and victory against Leicester at Anfield on Sunday to move level on points with Premier League leaders Tottenham. The manner of the Reds' win sounded an ominous warning to those hoping to wrestle the title away from the champions as Jurgen Klopp's side excelled from the off.
The Merseysiders achieved their 3-0 success amid a squad crisis that has robbed them of Virgil van Dijk, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joe Gomez, Jordan Henderson, Thiago Alcantara and Mohamed Salah. But the depleted Liverpool outfit were rampant from the first whistle as they established a new club record of 64 home league games unbeaten in fine style.
However, Klopp's concerns worsened when Naby Keita was brought off injured. Nevertheless, there's hope surrounding the availability of Henderson, Thiago and possibly even Salah for the midweek match, whilst Xherdan Shaqiri could also come back into the fold after being ruled out with a fitness issue at the weekend.
Atalanta fail to fire
Atalanta played out their first 0-0 draw in Serie A for over a year as the Bergamo boys were held at lowly Spezia on Saturday. Looking somewhat deflated in recent outings, the Nerazzurri felt they deserved more from the match having hit the woodwork with Duvan Zapata, as well as seeing a Robin Gosens goal narrowly ruled out for offside.
Head coach Gian Piero Gasperini admitted Atalanta have struggled to cope in the immediate aftermath of international breaks with so many players away but La Dea's boss defended his team in the immediate aftermath of the stalemate, a result that leaves the Bergamo side six points adrift of table-topping Milan after only eight rounds of action in Italy's top-flight.
Injuries and absentees are at least beginning to clear for Gasperini. Marten de Roon, Gosens and goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini are all back in action and Atalanta head to Anfield without only two confirmed first-teamers - Ruslan Malinovskyi tested positive for coronavirus whilst on international duty and centre-back Mattia Caldara remains injured.
Liverpool strolled to a 5-0 success when the two teams crossed swords on MD3 in Italy and the Reds are now chasing multiple victories over a Serie A side in a single European campaign for the first time since 2007/08 when dispatching Inter Milan in both knockout ties. The hosts are also chasing a fourth consecutive Champions League triumph here.
A Liverpool 1.695/7 win would send the Merseysiders into the Last 16 with two rounds of action to spare and Jurgen Klopp's depleted squad showcased their potential in Sunday's one-sided encounter with Leicester.
Market support has since followed the Reds, who have churned out W6-D1-L0 since their derby draw against Everton last month.
Two of Atalanta's 4.804/1 three heaviest defeats in European competition have been at the hands of English opponents and La Dea head to Anfield having returned only two triumphs in eight (W2-D3-L3) since October's international break; arguably even more alarmingly, the usually free-scoring guests have notched just twice in their most recent four fixtures.
Liverpool have scored at least twice in 10 of their 12 Premier League and Champions League encounters in 2020/21 and the Reds should be well capable of enhancing that goals return when Atalanta arrive. The visitors have shipped multiple goals in six of their 11 games across Serie A and continental action thus far, recording only two clean sheets in the process.
Collectively, 22 of 23 of the duos combined league and Champions League matches have produced Over 1.5 Goals this term. But with Over 2.5 Goals trading at a super skinny 1.412/5, I'm happy to combine the home victory and Over 1.5 Goals at an appealing 1.75 via Betfair Sportsbook's Same Game Multi market.
We'll be paid out should the Reds triumph by any scoreline other than 1-0.
Mark's 2020/21 Profit/Loss
Staked: 38.00 pts
Returned: 46.35 pts
P/L: +8.35 pts
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