After battling numerous long-term injuries last season and narrowly making the top four, Liverpool is looking to return to contending for Premier League titles. The Reds have started the season out strong but face an interesting test at Elland Road vs Leeds United on Sunday.
The current soccer odds favor Liverpool as the Merseyside club has -135 odds to win. Leeds is listed at +350 while a draw is +315.
Game: Leeds United FC vs Liverpool FC
Location: Elland Road, Leeds, England
Date/Time: Sunday, 11:30 a.m. ET
Head to Head
Leeds United’s return to the Premier League, after a 16-year wait, began with a 4-3 loss to Liverpool last season. At Elland Road in April, these clubs drew 1-1. The only other meeting since 2004 was a 2016 EFL Cup match, which Liverpool won 2-0.
Leeds Looking for First Win
Marcelo Bielsa’s men tactically are nearly always looking to attack. Leeds plays very attractive soccer and is always looking to high press, which forces opponent mistakes.
This can and often has led to defensive vulnerabilities. Despite finishing in ninth last season, Leeds was 14th in goals against and allowed 1.4 goals per game.
Through three matches, Leeds has allowed eight goals and has failed to keep a clean sheet. When it comes to betting online, Leeds has been a great team for betting overs in the past two seasons.
Former left wing back Ezgjan “Gjanni” Alioski’s marauding attacks have been sorely missed but Leeds moved to replace him with former Barcelona man Junior Firpo in July.
Leeds’ displays have gotten national attention as Kalvin Phillips played a huge role in England’s midfield in the Euros, while striker Patrick Bamford just received his much awaited first England call-up.
Bamford was Leeds’ top scorer in the Premier League with 17 goals last season. Bamford has a goal and assist through three matches and Leeds will again lean heavily on him.
Liverpool Aiming for Title
With Virgil Van Dijk and Joël Matip back in the center of defense, Liverpool is a much stronger side than last season. Jürgen Klopp has proven to be one of the best managers in the world and a full-strength Liverpool is one of the most popular soccer picks to win the Premier League.
The Reds have conceded just one goal through three games and they have one of the Premier League’s best goalkeepers in Alisson Becker, who is expected to sit out this match.
Liverpool disappointingly drew 1-1 vs Chelsea last match despite having a man advantage for a full half. After Mo Salah’s penalty conversion following a blatant handball from Chelsea’s Reece James, Chelsea effectively thwarted Liverpool’s attacks.
When playing well, Liverpool has arguably the best front three in the league. Winger Diogo Jota was one of the best signings of last season and scored nine goals in just 12 starts, as injury woes kept him out.
Jota and Salah have both scored two goals. The Egyptian was Liverpool’s leading scorer with 22 goals last season. Liverpool could stand to benefit from more consistent seasons from Sadio Mané and Roberto Firmino.
Alisson, Roberto Firmino and Fabinho are all set to miss out on this match for Liverpool as the Brazilian FA invoked the five-day rule. The FIFA rule suspends players for club-influenced international withdrawals. None of the three made the trip to South America for Brazil’s recent World Cup qualifying matches. Leeds winger Raphinha is also set to miss out.
Expect Liverpool’s defense to be less organized without Becker calling the shots. In five games Alisson missed last season, Liverpool conceded two goals per game.
When the Brazilian shot stopper played, Liverpool conceded fewer than a goal per game. With Liverpool’s attacking talent, Leeds’ defensive vulnerability and Allison out, the sportsbook over of three goals looks likely.