JURGEN Klopp looks set to rest several first-team players as his squad makes the trip to St James Park, Exeter in the third round of the FA People’s Cup and that might give the Grecians hope of causing an upset.
FA People’s Cup, Round 3. Kick-off 7.55pm. Live on BBC One
Much has been made of Liverpool’s injury problems this week so Jurgen Klopp may have little choice but to turn to fringe and youth team players for a tricky looking tie in the south-west corner of England.
They’re without a recognised centre-back after Lovren and Toure picked up knocks so Klopp may hand a debut to Tiago Ilori who has been recalled from his loan spell at Aston Villa, to possibly partner Lucas Leiva in the centre of defence, who impressed against Stoke in midweek when called on to fill in the position.
Klopp could also hand debuts to Ryan Kent and Sheyi Ojo who have also been recalled from their respective loan spells. That makes things all the trickier when trying to gauge how this game might go, however the Reds appear to have been fairly priced by the bookies at a tempting 4/6 (Betfred).
Exeter City are currently sixteenth in League Two with ambitions of making the play-off places but recent form won’t fill them with much confidence. It’s four defeats on the bounce since they beat League One side Port Vale in the second round of the competition. That said they did give Sunderland a bit of fright in the Capital One Cup earlier in the season.
They matched them all the way in a crazy first half at the Stadium of Light to go in 3-3 at the break. The Premier League outfit overpowered the Grecians in the second half however to record a 6-3 win.
As a Non-League side Exeter almost pulled off the biggest shock in FA Cup history 11 years ago when they held Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester united to a goal-less draw at Old Trafford. The current squad will be chanelling the spirit of 2005 and we think Exeter can make life difficult for an under-strength Liverpool tonight as well.
Without knowing exactly who will line up for the Reds it’s difficult to make any kind of call as to how things might pan out however recent stats suggest that this won’t be a high-scoring affair. Liverpool have scored just five goals in the last eight matches and scored more than one in just one of those matches (2-2 v West Brom). With that in mind, under 2.5 goals looks generously priced at 5/4 with 888 Sport.
It’s also worth noting that Liverpool have won by one goal to nil on 8 occasions this season, four of them since Klopp took charge. Another 1-0 win can be backed at 8/1 with 888 Sport and looks a reasonable value bet.
Yes, we think Liverpool will win this one but it’ll be a tight match especially with the lack of goals in the Liverpool side at the moment. We wouldn’t be too confident to back the Reds at 4/6 but we love Paddy Power‘s enhanced offer of 4/1 on the Liverpool victory for new customers.
Under 2.5 Goals 5/4 (888 Sport)
Liverpool to win 1-0 8/1 (888 Sport)
Liverpool to win 4/1 (Paddy Power new customer offer)