Liverpool v Flamengo: European champs can win but will concede

Dan Fitch thinks that Liverpool should lift the Club World Cup, yet he fancies Flamengo's attackers to cause problems for the Premier League side.

Liverpool 1.63 v Flamengo 5.10; The Draw 5.00
Saturday 21 December, 17:30
Live on BBC1

Liverpool scrape through semi-final

It was assumed that Liverpool would be playing in the Club World Cup final, but their semi-final proved to be anything but straightforward.
Liverpool took an early lead through Naby Keita, only for Monterrey to equalise almost immediately. It took an injury time goal from the substitute Roberto Firmino to ultimately win the match for Jurgen Klopp's team.
Klopp sent on a number of players that he had intended to rest, with Trent-Alexander Arnold and Sadio Made joining Firmino as second-half substitutes. The player they missed the most was Virgil van Dijk. With the Dutch defender unavailable, Jordan Henderson deputised at centre-back and Monterrey took advantage, firing in 16 shots at goal over the course of the match, with eight on target.
Van Dijk could be missing again on Saturday, which would be a major issue when defensive players such as Nathaniel Clyne, Dejan Lovren, Joel Matip and Fabinho are all definitely out. Another player who faces a fitness test, is Van Dijk's Netherlands teammate Georginio Wijnaldum.

Flamengo set up repeat of 1981 triumph

On Tuesday, Flamengo also suffered a scare in a semi-final they were expected to win.
The Brazilians went a goal down in the first-half against the Saudi Arabian side Al Hilal. After the break they fought back and won 3-1, setting up a final against Liverpool that is rich in history.
Before FIFA dreamed up the Club World Cup, the champions of Europe would meet the Copa Libertadores holders each year in the Intercontinental Cup. The 1981 final in Tokyo saw Flamengo take on Liverpool, in a match in which Zico went up against the likes of Graeme Souness and Kenny Dalglish. It was Flamengo that won the match 3-0 and they will be hoping that history repeats itself over the weekend.
Flamengo picked a full-strength side for their semi-final and with no injuries, could well opt to start with the same team against Liverpool.

Liverpool are worthy favourites, but a gamble without Van Dijk

Liverpool are the 1.63 favourites, with the draw at 5.00 and Flamengo at 5.10.
That's a realistic price for Liverpool, though too much of a risk as a standalone bet with Van Dijk out. Flamengo are very good going forward and will surely be more clinical than Monterrey, if Liverpool allow them to have a similar amount of chances.

Goals an inevitability

Both teams to score is only a slightly bigger price at 1.72, but seems almost certain to land. Flamengo have only failed to score once in their last 19 games.
Combine both teams to score with a Liverpool win and you get odds of 3.00, which is a bet worth taking a chance on. A Liverpool win and over 2.5 goals is another option, at a smaller price of 2.20.

Take your pick from deadly attackers

You're spoilt for choice when it comes to likely goalscorers. Mohamed Salah is the 2.20 favourite, with Mane at 2.40 and Firmino at 2.80.
There is some good value to be found among Flamengo's forwards. Gabriel Barbosa has scored 43 goals this year and is 3.10 to find the net. Bruno Henrique netted his 35th goal against Al-Hilal and is 4.20.

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