Liverpool vs. Blackburn Preview

Premier League

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Published: 21/12/2011

Liverpool will be long odds on favourites to bag three points when lowly Blackburn Rovers visit Anfield on Boxing Day as Kenny Dalgleish’s charges seek to close the gap on their rivals at the top of the Barclays Premier League.

‘Stuttering’ would perhaps be the best word to describe Liverpool’s season so far after dropping silly points against teams who they have been expected to beat cosily.

Although they have been largely consistent and a very difficult outfit to turn over, their inability to finish opponents off has consequently left them a huge twelve points of the pace set by Manchester City, who have, by contrast, demonstrated on a number of occasions how you have to be ruthless to get the results.

Being solid will no longer do for any club aspiring to challenge for Premier League honours and the Kop faithful will be keen to see more firepower moving forward and a significant upturn in goals coring fortunes for multi million pound strikers Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez.

The for and against figures indeed speak for themselves and despite only conceding thirteen goals so far this season, Liverpool have only managed to bag on twenty occasions which is a world away from Roberto Mancini’s City who have hit the net an incredible fifty times.

Breaking teams down who arrive at Anfield looking for point will be Dalgleish’s main headache over Christmas dinner this year as anything less than a win in this match would be a complete disaster and would all but end the club’s dreams of a belated title assault.

Liverpool have however shown glimpses of brilliance and the potential of eventually being an extremely good side – including away at Aston Villa where they comfortably buried the opposition within twenty minutes before professionally seeing out the contest and preserving the much needed stamina and fitness which they will require over the busy Christmas period.

Odds of 3/10 are only really going to satisfy multiple bets or accumulators as even the most committed type of punter is likely to avoid the hosts based on their tendency to flop at long odds on. Nonetheless, it is equally as difficult to advise or predict any other result that a home win with respects purely towards the quality of Liverpool’s opposition.

After conceding 36 goals in just sixteen games, Blackburn are very much a sinking ship with a win over a poor Arsenal side their only real positive to hark back to as the 2011-2012 campaign reaches the half way stage.

Unless pressured boss Steve Kean can somehow find a way to inspire a significant upturn in performance and quality, Rovers are inevitably heading for a long, gruelling relegation scrap and their approach thus far emits little faith that they can come close to escape.

Blackburn’s only real hope of getting a result is by sitting deep and allowing Liverpool the chance to try and break them down – however they must surely not be confident of adapting this approach considering how poorly they have consistently defended against teams much worse than the Reds.

Liverpool travel to Wigan prior to this fixture and by 5.00pm on Boxing Day they should be revelling in an easy six point haul which first and foremost will leave them bang on track for a return to the Champions League.


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