Liverpool v Spartak Moscow Champions League Preview 06/12/2017
Liverpool face Spartak Moscow at Anfield on Wednesday in the final round of matches in the Group stages of the Champions League.
The Reds frittered away a three-goal lead in Sevilla to leave themselves one point short of qualification to the last sixteen. Spartak have to win to go through to the match is nicely poised.
Liverpool were totally dominant in the reverse fixture but failed to put away their chances. They eventually had to settle for a 1-1 draw in a game that they should have wrapped up before half-time. Jurgen Klopp has shrugged off suggestions that he will have one eye on Sunday’s Merseyside derby in the EPL. He knows the importance of securing a last 16 spot, something Liverpool have not achieved since 2008-09.
It is likely that he will start with a very strong line-up and hope to have the game won in the first hour. That would allow him the luxury of replacing his star players to give them extra rest ahead of the Everton clash. Liverpool have been playing well apart from their collapse in Sevilla. They were rather edgy against champions Chelsea at Anfield when a late goal from Willian earned the Blues a point. Eight goals in their last two games including five at Brighton last weekend suggests that they will be far too good for Spartak.
Mohamed Salah has dominated the headlines and Sadio Mane appears to be returning to his best form. With Coutinho and Firmino also likely to start, the value bets could be in the first half markets.
Spartak have not won away from home in Europe for the past six seasons. They will be well aware of Liverpool’s defensive weaknesses and will try to poach a goal on the counter-attack. Even though they need a victory, it seems likely they will try to hold Liverpool for as long as possible. If the game is still level in the final quarter, anything can happen.
Spartak will look to ex-Milan striker Luiz Adriano and Netherlands International Quincy Promes. The latter is already into double figures for goals scored this season. Seven of the last eight clashes between Liverpool and Spartak have resulted in both teams scoring.
Bookmakers rate Spartak as high as 16-1 to pull off a shock victory with the Reds long odds-on favourites. A draw may tempt a few punters at 6-1 but my guess is that Liverpool will be clear by half-time.
Champions League Betting Tips 06/12/2017
Liverpool to be winning at half-time and full-time @1.83 Betfair