Liverpool vs Bordeaux – Betting Preview

Liverpool make their return to European action on Thursday evening, knowing that a win over visiting Bordeaux would seal their place in the last 32 of the competition with a game to spare. Boss Jurgen Klopp will be hoping to get the job done as quickly as possible, with a trip away to FC Sion still to come on match day six. Here we have a full match and betting preview for you.

Match preview

A victory would present Klopp with the opportunity to rest a number of first team players for the trip to Switzerland on December 10th – an opportunity the German will be hoping to take advantage of, given the high intensity football and work rate he demands from his team.

Ultimately, finishing second in the Europa League isn’t the same damning prospect as ending runners-up in the Champions League group stage. The level of ability between sides in first and second in Europe’s secondary club competition isn’t too dissimilar truth be told, although finishing top of a group will never do a team any harm.

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After arguably the Reds’ best performance of the season away to Manchester City, it will be interesting to see what sort of side Jurgen Klopp selects for Thursday’s Anfield clash. The likes of Joe Allen, Jordon Ibe and Kolo Toure are all likely to be rotated into the starting line-up, as is Christian Benteke, who appeared in the last 15 minutes of Liverpool’s win at the Etihad Stadium.

Daniel Sturridge will again be involved in the match day squad, but a start may come too soon for the 26-year-old England international. Divock Origi has been taken out of the firing line in recent weeks, after struggling to make an impact as the spearhead of the Liverpool attack, but the return of Europa League football presents an opportunity to bring the Belgian back into the fold.

The question now lies as to who Klopp withdraws from the starting eleven on Thursday. Neither Philippe Coutinho nor Roberto Firmino were involved for Brazil in the most recent international break and both look refreshed from not doing so, although a minor strain picked up by Coutinho means he is likely to miss this match. Adam Lallana featured in both of England’s friendlies against Spain and France, and may be afforded the opportunity to take a break after playing a lot of football in the previous month.

Bordeaux’s away record in Ligue 1 has been pretty dismal in recent times, and haven’t won on the road in France’s top flight since March. In the Europa League, they have drawn three and lost 1-0 at home to Sion, with a defeat at Anfield sealing their exit from the competition.

The monotonous 1-1 draw away in France did however prove their ability to grind out results, with the Reds needing to cut out the mistakes from their last fixture with the French side.

Klopp is keen to continue the momentum at Anfield and victory over Bordeaux on Thursday certainly wouldn’t harm their cause. He has made no secret of his desire to have success in the competition this season, feeling that winning breeds confidence, rather than having a detrimental effect on their league form with the Thursday/Sunday routine.

Betting predictions

With Liverpool flying and a much stronger squad to pick from a win is definitely on the cards. At 4/9 though there isn’t much value in this bet. However with Bordeaux’s poor away record I can see Liverpool winning this by 2. Our free football tip is Liverpool -1 at 6/5

Liverpool Dreaming: What Can Still Happen in the last two thirds of the Season?

First, it was the Klopp hype train, now it’s the injury crisis: after 12 weeks, Liverpool have ten players out and a hope to get into the top four by the end of the season. Is qualifying for the Champions League still a possibility, or shall we abandon all hope? Well, you could probably get at least ten different answers to this, and here’s one of them.

If we look at the odds, the UK-licensed bookie TonyBet predicts that Liverpool have a decent chance at being one of the best four teams. However, that would be quite a climb up from the current tenth position and a seven-point difference to make up for. Still, Man City are only ahead by nine points, so things are not looking too bleak, right?

It kind of depends on how you look at things. The one hurdle that could prevent Liverpool from having a truly successful Premier League season is the fact that there are simply too many goals conceded and too few goals scored. The team have allowed their opponents to get the ball into the net 14 times and only repaid the favour on 13 occasions – now that’s got to change.

CHELSEA v LIVERPOOL - Premier League 2015/2016 (Pic: Supplied)

Boxing Day is now just six games away and by that time it’s usually clear how the season is going to conclude – or at least you can make a proper guess that’s not just wishful thinking. While the first game is going to be a tough cookie with the Reds having to best Man City tomorrow, there are going to be a few meetings where their chances look a whole lot better.

And then there’s also Klopp to consider. It’s already quite clear that his methods are starting to change the squad, and his enthusiasm is infectious. He’s got quite a talented bunch on his hands, and if there’s one man that can mould them to be the best players they can be, it’s Klopp. The role he’s playing is definitely not small – and if he didn’t have to deal with so many injuries, it would be even bigger.

Of course, the January transfer window will open up the possibility of acquiring new (and hopefully healthy) players, but that is not something exclusive to Liverpool. Chelsea for one do not look even remotely dangerous now, but whether you like it or not, they can still shape up and they’ve got the advantage of a bigger budget that’s going to come in handy after New Year’s.

On the other hand, there’s no good reason for Chelsea playing as horribly as they are now – their squad is top-class, really. If they continue to be the underwhelming defending champions that they currently are, it’s going to be a big help for Liverpool in the quest of getting to the top end of the table.

Then there’s Arsenal and both of the Manchester clubs to think of – they’re bound to be trouble. Tottenham are pretty beatable though and while they can turn out to be Liverpool’s main contender for the fourth position, it’s something that can be done. West Ham and Leicester City? They can be better than anyone on their best day, and just as easily lose to anyone, too.

There’s one thing that’s quite clear – Liverpool are not likely to end the title drought this season. The coach hasn’t had enough time, the squad has faced too many injuries, the attack isn’t good enough and the defence isn’t either, and lastly, it’s not like the other teams are not actively trying to win, too.

But that doesn’t mean that the team can’t be worthy contenders and finish at the top end of the table. We could see that the squad can score these crucial goals, too – just think of the game against Chelsea! So, can Liverpool actually finish in the top four and then have a blast of a season next year? It is something that’s very likely, and isn’t down to pure luck. Rebuilding the team will take time, but this is the first stepping stone that we can realistically hope for.