Liverpool v Leeds: Reds can rack up another win and close City lead

Liverpool can further reduce the gap on leaders Manchester City with a convincing win over Leeds on Wednesday night, says Dave Tindall...

Liverpool putting pressure on City but still underdogs

It seemed Manchester City were already being handed the title until last weekend despite protestations from many Liverpool fans that the nine-point gap could be reduced to three if the Reds won their game in hand and then beat City at the Etihad.

That positive spin is looking even better now for Liverpool after the weekend results when Jurgen Klopp's men beat Norwich 3-1 and then watched City crash 3-2 at home to Tottenham.

Suddenly, it seems there is a genuine title race even though City are still expected to get it done. The Premier League winner market shows Man City 1.3 and Liverpool 4.3 although Pep Guardiola's men have traded as short as 1.08.

Without doubt Liverpool are on a roll and victory over Norwich, achieved after being 1-0 down, was their eighth straight win in all competitions. That run includes 15 points from the last 15 in the Premier League.

Ahead of the visit of Leeds, the Merseysiders have an Anfield record of played 12, won nine, drawn three, lost none. They're the only team in the top-flight still unbeaten at home.

One bit of extra context which needs to be considered is that Liverpool have the Carabao Cup final against Chelsea on Sunday. It means Klopp may again tinker with his starting XI for this one.

Leeds still far from safe

Leeds have kept their heads above water so far but Newcastle's rejuvenation and wins for Burnley and Watford on Saturday will have added to anxiety in West Yorkshire.

A home win against Manchester United the following day would have been a huge statement in their bid to avoid a relegation fight but despite battling back from 2-0 down, Leeds ended up losing 4-2 on a rain-sodden and energy-sapping Elland Road pitch.

It leaves them in 15th but just a point above Everton and Newcastle and five clear of third-bottom Watford.

Leeds forged a reputation as a great watch on their last trip to Anfield when losing out 4-3 after coming from behind three times. That was their first game back in the Premier League after a long absence and everything was just fun.

Season two has been much more difficult although, given their injury troubles, it's hard to be too critical. Marcelo Bielsa doesn't have the strongest hand to play but still makes Leeds a difficult opponent.

Sometimes it doesn't come off though and Liverpool did rather sweep Leeds aside in the first meeting this term when running out easy 3-0 winners thanks to goals from Mo Salah, Fabinho and Sadio Mane.

Handicaps best way to play hosts

The basic match market shows Liverpool are red-hot 1.18 favourites to cut City's lead to just three points with both teams having played the same number of games.

Leeds are 18.5 to pull off a shock while The Draw is 1.18.

After making seven changes to his starting line-up against Norwich, it's a decent guess that Klopp will want to use the Leeds game as a way to build some rhythm for his likely starting XI against Chelsea.

That would mean a return for full-backs Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson and Fabinho in midfield. If that's the case, watch out Leeds.

After a tough game in tough conditions against Manchester United, the visitors look vulnerable to the home side's wave of attacks so I'm prepared to push the boat out a little and back Liverpool (-2) on the handicaps.

Leeds have conceded more goals (29) on the road than any other top-flight rival this term and Liverpool are second top scorers (30) at home. In addition, the Reds have shipped the fewest (7) number of home goals.

Put the stats together and it's not hard to see something along the lines of a 3-0 or 4-1 home win. Liverpool have had an extra day off and the night-time atmosphere at Anfield always surpasses a 3pm game.

Robertson can add another assist

Andy Robertson put his feet up for the Norwich game but it seems pretty certain that Klopp will send him into action here.

And that means a stream of crosses from the left that could result in yet another assist.

The Scot has eight assists in 18 Premier League matches this season and seven of those have come in his last 10 top-flight starts so he's been in superb form.

Robertson set up one of Liverpool's goals against Leeds in that 4-3 Anfield win last season and he looks worth a punt at 2.75 to grab another. That looks a bit of value compared to the Liverpool goalscorer prices which are inevitably short.

I'll also include him on the Bet Builder and go for a Robertson assist, a Mo Salah goal and Liverpool (-2) which pays 5.7.

Salah looked unplayable at times against Norwich, is the Premier League's top scorer by five and got a hat-trick in this fixture last season.

Opta stat

Mohamed Salah's goal against Norwich last time out was his 63rd for Liverpool at Anfield in the Premier League, putting him level with Michael Owen. Only Robbie Fowler (85) and Steven Gerrard (69) have scored more home goals for the Reds in the competition than the Egyptian.

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