Looking to get their title defence off to a winning start and lay down an early marker on Saturday evening, Liverpool will welcome Premier League returners Leeds to what will be an empty Anfield this weekend.
Managing to avoid what would have been the most embarrassing of pre-season upsets over the weekend and coming from 2-0 down at home against League One’s Blackpool, the Reds have continued to show some real issues at the back since marking their return from football’s enforced break.
On the flip side, while Liverpool might be seeking some early season stability this weekend, the Whites are flying high and their 4-0 romp against Charlton back in July topped off what was a glittering year for Leeds.
However, while many across the top-flight are glad to see the Yorkshire giants end their Premier League exile this summer, Saturday’s guests couldn’t have wished for a tougher opening task.
Including a 2-0 defeat when they last faced off against the defending champions back in 2016, Leeds have failed to win any of their previous seven straight meetings against Liverpool, losing six of those appearances.
You might be interested to know that a similar home victory this weekend is priced as low as 1/3 with 888Sport.
Liverpool’s leaky defence
Although Jurgen Klopp’s side might have managed to lift their first Premier League title with an 18-point buffer earlier in the summer, Liverpool have been worryingly quiet during the transfer window and their pre-season performances have left allot to the imagination.
Along with watching Arsenal lift the Community Shield at an empty Wembley last month, the Reds also had to come from behind in what was extremely shock fashion last weekend.
Despite fielding the likes of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Fabinho, the defending champions had to come from two goals down against League One’s Blackpool at Anfield, a result that would have been picked up by Manchester City.
Although the former Borussia Dortmund boss might have seen his side enjoy a second-half romp, Liverpool have shipped a pair of strikes in their final three pre-season showdowns and have continued on with some worrying issues at the back.
Failing to record a single Premier League clean sheet in any of their final five contests last season, you might be interested to know that Saturday’s leaky defence are priced at 4/5 with Ladbrokes to once again be breached on home soil this weekend.
An Anfield upset for Leeds?
Signing off last season’s delayed Championship campaign with a 4-0 romp at home against Charlton back in July, Leeds managed to end their 17-year stay in Premier League exile and many are excited to see Marcelo Bielsa’s side in the top-flight once again.
Marching on a six-match winning run as they cruised their way to the title earlier in the summer, the Whites have already brought in the likes of Rodrigo from Valencia and have really made a statement of intent.
Not happy to just make up the numbers this time around, many have Leeds tipped as a potential dark horse this year and the former Napoli boss will certainly have a few tricks up his sleeve as he travels to Anfield this weekend.
With a real reputation in the Championship last season for their clinical displays in front of goal, it is worth noting that a Leeds double chance is priced at 3/1 with Coral as they look to really upset the odds on Merseyside.
Elsewhere, after earning his first England cap against Denmark on Tuesday night, Kalvin Phillips will be available to start in the middle of Bielsa’s midfield on Saturday evening.