Liverpool v Middlesbrough preview and tips
Brendan Rodgers set to make several changes for this Capital One Cup clash
September 23rd, 2014
Liverpool have had a poor start to the season and we should expect the majority of the first team to be rested for this evening’s match against Championship opposition.
While Brendan Rodgers will want to return to winning ways, it won’t be at the expense of risking the team’s star players and the game certainly comes too soon for Daniel Sturridge.
Brad Jones, Kolo Toure, Jose Enrique, Adam Lallana and Rickie Lambert are in line to start this match, with Rodgers claiming that many of the players in the squad need to handle the pressure of representing such a big club.
“Our passing disappointed me,” the Liverpool manager said after Saturday’s 3-1 defeat at Upton Park. “We played more long passes than West Ham and that is something you have not seen from us in over the two years. We need to get back to doing what we do best. I look at the movement patterns in our team, our pressing in those patterns of pressure and, given the injuries, I need to retain a system for a longer period.
“The 4-4-2 diamond worked really well but it worked well with certain players and not at the weekend. Until I get all the players back that I know are multifunctional players, I’ll look at the strength of the players we do have fit. Hopefully that gives them confidence. Confidence has not been affected so far but if you don’t win games for too long it can be.
“We’ve conceded eight goals and the majority of those could have been avoided but what people probably don’t get is the pressure of playing for such a big club. The weight of the jersey here is heavy for most players. Once you adapt to playing for Liverpool you become clearer in your thinking.”
Middlesbrough will fancy an upset and they can be backed at odds of 11/2, with Aitor Karanka’s side sitting fifth in the table after winning three of their four matches on the road.
Given the problems at Anfield, it’s perfectly possible that this match could run into extra-time and penalties, with William Hill offering a tasty 31/20 about the visitors or the draw.
Draw or Middlesbrough on Double Chance @ 31/20 with William Hill.