Live on ITV4 & ESPN: Thu from 18.00: Struggling Liverpool head to Napoli in the Europa League where they could find more problems.
Roy Hodgson was defiantly upbeat about Liverpool’s performance in the 2-0 Merseyside derby defeat to Everton but it’s unlikely that the Reds supporters trudging away from Goodison Park on Sunday will have been quite so positive following a result that keeps them in the bottom three and off the foot of the Premiership by virtue of goal difference alone.
Liverpool attempt to pick themselves up this week with a tricky trip to Napoli in the Europa League and taking into account current form, the Italian outfit, unbeaten in four in all competitions, have been installed as 5/4 favourites by Paddy Power.
A morale-boosting triumph for Hodgson’s beleaguered charges is a 5/2 chance at Stan James but the best bet in the Stadio San Paolo is arguably 888Sport’s 9/4 chalked against a stalemate and the lack of cutting edge shown in recent weeks, the absence of Dirk Kuyt and the continuing poor form of Fernando Torres, suggests a low-scoring encounter in which the Reds are a tasty 17/10 (Totesport) to draw a blank.
A modest flutter on a goalless affair at 8/1 with bet365 isn’t without appeal then and a safer alternative is Betdaq’s 8/11 marked against a match total of fewer than 2.5 goals. A major threat to that wager however is the hosts’ in-form Uruguayan striker Edinson Cavani, a 6/1 shot at Totesport to notch first and 2/1 (Coral) to find the net at any stage.
Manchester City couldn’t quite get the better of Juventus in their last Europa League outing but they should have no such trouble as they entertain Lech Poznan, despite the fact that the Polish side currently head Group A. Roberto Mancini’s men however, are just 1/4 with Coral and other teams represent better value.
FC Utrecht for example, are 10/11 at Betfred to get the better of Steaua Bucharest at the Stadion Galgenwaard and despite having failed to score in their first two Group K matches, the Dutch outfit can get out of the blocks quickly.
Ton du Chatinier’s troops have a habit of scoring early on their own patch and indeed they were 2-0 up after 12 minutes against De Graafschap on Saturday. Couple that with the fact that Steaua conceded inside a minute at Anfield and William Hill’s 13/8 for the hosts to net before the half-hour mark looks very tempting indeed. Alternatively Paddy Power quote evens for the game’s opener to arrive before the 25th minute.
In Portugal, Sporting are a home banker against Gent but they’re one for an accumulator at just 2/5 with Partybets. Meanwhile, William Hill quote 5/6 for Young Boys to get the better of Danish outfit Odense BK and Stan James offer an enticing 11/10 for Stuttgart to beat Getafe.
Napoli to keep a clean sheet against Liverpool – 17/10 (Totesport)
FC Utrecht to score before 30 minutes – 13/8 (William Hill)
Treble – Man City, Young Boys and Sporting – 2/1 (Stan James)