Liverpool vs Leeds United Preview

September 11, 2020
By: Daniel Orme
Premier League

Reigning Premier League champions kick off the first defence of their title on Saturday afternoon as they host newly-promoted Leeds United at Anfield.

The Reds had a wonderful campaign last year under Jurgen Klopp, sweeping away all before them, lifting their first top-flight crown since 1990. Following two seasons where they have collected 97 and 99 points respectively, they will hope to produce another eye-catching campaign and can be backed at odds of 2/1 with William Hill to lift the title once again in May.

Elsewhere, visiting Leeds United also enjoyed a stunning season throughout 2019/20. Under Argentine Marcelo Bielsa, the Whites earned their first return to the Premier League since 2004, topping the Championship with 93 points in the process. Understandably, the first target for the Yorkshire outfit this season will be to stave off the threat of relegation. They are not currently fancied to suffer the drop, with a price of 7/2 with Betfair available for Leeds to be relegated this campaign.

Despite not being much fancied to struggle this season, with the likes of Brighton & Hove Albion, Newcastle United, Crystal Palace and Aston Villa all more favoured for the drop, it’s going to be tough for Leeds to get their season off to a positive. The Whites have not managed to win at Anfield since 2001, whilst they have lost six out of their last eight matches against the Merseysiders.

The odds are stacked even more against them considering that only one newly-promoted side have ever managed to beat a reigning Premier League champion on the opening day, that being Hull City as they beat Leicester City in 2016. Understandably, Leeds are huge underdogs to claim maximum points at odds of 9/1, whilst Klopp’s troops sit at 3/10. A draw on the opening day can be backed at 5/1.

One of the highest scorers in the league last season, Sadio Mane will be hopeful to get the season off to the perfect start this time with the first strike against Leeds. The forward is at odds of 3/1 with Paddy Power to do just that. Elsewhere, the visitors will hope their new forward Rodrigo Moreno hits the ground running at Anfield and sits at 13/1 to score first.

Whilst the Spaniard is available, Bielsa does have a few players out with long-term problems, namely Gaetano Berardi and Adam Forshaw. Elsewhere, Liverpool also have their fair share of worries. Summer signing Kostas Tsimikas will be subject to a late test, whilst Jordan Henderson is unlikely to be fit in time. The game might also come too soon Xherdan Shaqiri and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

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