Liverpool vs Huddersfield preview, betting tips and prediction: Reds to pass nervy test at Anfield
Mohamed Salah to score first and Liverpool to win @ 7/2 with Betfair
The Draw @ 6/1 with Betfair
Liverpool to win 2-1 @ 10/1 with Bet365
There is something quite symmetrical about this weekend’s fixture at Anfield, where Huddersfield travel to face Liverpool on Saturday. The Terriers faced and beat Manchester United and the Reds lost at Tottenham; they also meet at Old Trafford in the lunchtime kick off.
Both games told of crucial lessons for both coming into their meeting. Liverpool cannot afford to be so open and take as many risks as they did defensively, whereas Huddersfield must be as defensively organised and committed as they were in beating the Red Devils. History suggests that could quite easily get them a good result, because Jurgen Klopp’s side have struggled against lesser sides particularly at home; this season, they failed to break down Burnley and have only won twice in nine games lately.
Because Liverpool play such a high line with no designated midfield protector, Huddersfield will get chances, especially if they are brave enough to press high in their trademark style. Dejan Lovren is a particularly weak link worth exploiting, though there are doubts over his fitness and selection because Jurgen Klopp was very open in his criticism of the defender after a mistake in the game at Spurs. In Laurent Depoitre, Huddersfield have a very physical outlet, and they have quality in the wide areas in order to get the ball into him as they showed on Saturday.
Given the similarities in how the teams play, the wide areas are likely to play a key role in where this game is won and lost. With no Sadio Mane and Daniel Sturridge and Roberto Firmino struggling for consistent form, Mohamed Salah has really stepped up. The Egyptian is very good at running on the outside but also narrowing his movement and getting in between the full back and the centre half; this will cause so much confusion in the back four for Huddersfield and is how he scored at Wembley.
Salah is 7/2 to score first in a home win, which is definitely worth a look with him playing as he is. Huddersfield will be in great shape both physically and mentally after last week and can easily follow in the footsteps of Burnley and a number of other teams last season in frustrating the hosts – 6/1 is a good price for a draw. Liverpool, should win buy it may only be by the odd goal. Bet365 have 2-1 priced at 10/1, another good recommendation.
Key battle: Joe Gomez vs Tom Ince
As already mentioned, this game will most likely come down to who dominates the wide areas best. Gomez has appeared as a weak link for Liverpool for quite some time, with Nathaniel Clyne a long-term absentee, but he has played very well overall.
Ince and Rajiv van la Parra will enable Huddersfield on the break and can definitely supply the powerful Depoitre with ammunition in the box, and Gomez will have to be disciplined defensively before he can look to supply the likes of Salah down the other end.