Liverpool v Newcastle 
Wednesday December 26, 15:00

Huge improvements in defence

Things are looking pretty good for Liverpool and their fans. They safely negotiated their way into the Last-16 of the Champions League and perhaps more importantly, are top of the Premier League table at Christmas.
The summer arrivals have made things much easier for Jurgen Klopp. There are pretty much two quality players for every position now, meaning he can rotate without feeling he's fielding a weaker side.
For all of his attacking talent however, it's been the defensive trio of Alisson, Virgil van Dijkand Andrew Robertson who have turned Liverpool from an entertaining and cavalier side into one capable of wining trophies.

Rafa's gross exaggeration

Rafa Benitez says it would be a miracle if Newcastle stayed up this season. Odds of 11/2 that the Magpies go down suggest he's being a little over-dramatic about that eventuality.
But it is true that this isn't a vintage squad. There's plenty of experience in defence and the midfield will always put in a good shift but it's in attack that things look pretty bare.
Salomon Rondon has probably done as well as you could expect and has four goals from 11 starts but no-one else in the team has more than two goals. They really need some cover for him so it will be interesting to see how much business they do in the transfer window.

Beware the short-priced favourite

It's 1/6 that Liverpool win and whereas many punters will be happy to smash into that (at least as part of a multiple), Crystal Palace showed us at the weekend that no team in this league has three points gifted to them, whatever the circumstances.
It's 15/2 the draw and 19/1 the Newcastle win. Yes, I know but tell that to the poor soul who laid Palace at 190 on the Betfair Exchange at the weekend.

Newcastle have been keeping things tight

It's just 9/20 on over 2.5 goals and 6/5 on over 3.5 goals. The thinking here is that if Liverpool's forwards get going, they can score plenty of goals.
But Newcastle matches have been pretty tight of late. Their last four matches have produced just six goals with three of those going Under 2.5 Goals.

Liverpool can win both halves

It's 6/5 that Liverpool win both halves and that might be one of the few bets at odds-against in this match that you can be relatively confident about. Even if this isn't the landslide the odds-compilers would have you believe it might be, it's easy to imagine Liverpool being 1-0 up at half-time and adding another in the second half.
Or doing all the hard work in the first half by grabbing a couple, managing their lead and then adding a late goal as some fresh legs come on and Newcastle's players start to tire a bit. All in all, it's a pretty decent price.

Fabian can enter the ref's book

Matt Ritchie has five bookings this season and is 3/1 to make it six. That said, he's only started two of his last four matches so you're obviously better off waiting to see if he starts before going in on that price.
A better option, albeit at a slightly shorter price, is Fabian Schar. He too has five bookings for the season but his have come from just eight appearances. Some basic maths shows he's booked once every 132 minutes.
He'll certainly be up against it with the likes of Mohamed Salah, Xerdan Shaqiri and Sadio Mane doing their best to create all manner of mischief and he may well have to resort to some mischief of his own. He's 23/10 to get a card here and that looks like a price worth snapping up.
For Liverpool the in-form Fabinho might be a worth look in this market as well. He's impressed in recent weeks with extremely mature displays featuring some excellent passing but he has three yellows from just seven starts and may have to resort to some underhand tactics of his own. He's 7/2 to get a card.

Same-game multi-bet

If none of these bets appeal to you, you can always go with a same-game multi-bet. We haven't mentioned Mo Salah very much here but he looks back to his best and if he were to open the scoring (5/2) and the game had over 3.5 goals, you'd be paid out at 8.17.
RECOMMENDED BETS
Back Liverpool to win both halves @ 6/5 
Back Fabien Schar to be shown a card @ 23/10 

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