Bottom of the table Swansea City host Liverpool on Monday night at the Liberty Stadium. Liverpool’s last match saw them end Manchester City’s invincible run in one of the most magnificent performances of the season.
Swansea’s last outing was a bit less spectacular. Their 1-1 draw with Newcastle United did not have the nation talking like Liverpool’s humbling of City, but it was an important point for Carlos Carvalhal and his side.
The Swans could pull themselves up to 18th with a victory in this one. The window is yet to have the impact on the Swansea squad that Carvalhal might have hoped when he was appointed. There’s been plenty of rumours about the Welsh club, but that’s not much help when you’re trying to survive.
The awkward news for Swansea is that Liverpool are undefeated in 14 Premier League matches, while the hosts have won just once in seven league outings. It’s hardly surprising that Liverpool are 2/7 for the win at the Liberty Stadium. Feel free to pop that into an accumulator if you’re convinced Jurgen Klopp’s side will stroll this one, but there’s no value in it as a single.
I think this might have to lead me into the territory of wincasts. With Liverpool always likely to score multiple times, there are good bets to be found. The odds aren’t astoundingly good, but Roberto Firmino to score and Liverpool to win at 7/4 is decent. The Brazilian has scored six in his last 10 appearances, and remains one of the Premier League’s most underrated players.
Swansea have improved under Carvalhal. The trouble is, Liverpool’s form makes them almost unplayable at the moment. The Swans have the second-worst expected goals in the league, and have even underperformed that. While Liverpool will give teams a chance, Swansea are the least equipped to take advantage of such an opening.
The 4/5 price on the home team to fail to score is on the short side, but I can still see some value in it given Liverpool’s inevitable domination of the ball.
Liverpool’s front three – led by Firmino – were not exactly troubled by the absence of Philippe Coutinho against City. I don’t think Coutinho’s departure is a disaster by any means and, unfortunately for Swansea, might just spur Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah on further. Salah has found the net nine times in his last 10 matches. The Egyptian to score the last goal and Liverpool to win is another tempting wincast at 19/5.
Swansea remain the favourites to be relegated at 11/50. Far from a shock given their league position of course, but there are signs that Carvalhal could pull the team towards safety. Reinforcements, though, are a necessity if they are going to secure another season in the top flight.
These matches are often considered to be a chance for ‘bonus’ points from teams in the bottom-half. Even that seems a severe improbability for the Swans, though, who I think must focus on avoiding a complete loss of momentum.
Liverpool could be down in fifth by the time they kick-off, but this is more an opportunity to boost goal difference than a risk of losing ground.
TIP: Liverpool to win 3-0 @ 7/1
*Odds subject to change – correct at time of writing*