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Liverpool vs Arsenal Odds: Pair of tips for semi-final clash at Anfield

Diogo Jota has enjoyed facing Arsenal during his time at Liverpool
Diogo Jota has enjoyed facing Arsenal during his time at Liverpool

Liverpool welcome Arsenal to Anfield on Thursday for the first leg of the EFL Cup semi-final, a spot in the final vs either Spurs or Chelsea awaits. 

Laced with controversy, this fixture is steeped with anticipation as it takes place a week after originally scheduled. A COVID outbreak in the hosts camp is the cause, though the legitimacy of this claim has been questioned after Liverpool boss Jugen Klopp stated that the outbreak was not in fact an outbreak but a case of ‘a lot of false positives’. Statistically speaking, the chance of getting a false positive is about 0.05%, so,  the chance of getting five false positives is roughly 0.000000000000003%, so make of that what you will.

Liverpool vs Arsenal Tips

This controversy has also shrouded Liverpool's team news with mystery. There are definitely three AFCON absentees though with Naby Keita, Sadio Mane, and Mohamed Salah all representing their nations. As for injuries, long term absentees Nat Phillips, Harvey Elliot and Thiago remain sidelined, Divock Origi and Alisson are also expected to miss this fixture. Despite doubts over his fitness, I think Klopp will go full strength here which should see Trent Alexander-Arnold start at right back with Andy Robertson on the other flank.  

Arsenal are also decimated by AFCON with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Mohamed Elneny, Nicolas Pepe and Thomas Partey all on international duty. The latter's absence combined with the fact that Granit Xhaka is also expected to missout leaves a threadbare Arsenal engine room. The likely candidates to anchor the midfield are Sambi Lokonga, Charlie Patino or Martin Ødegaard. Nuno Tavares was brought off early on in Arsenal’s 1-0 defeat vs Forest so expect Takehiro Tomiyasu to slot in at fullback.

Liverpool vs Arsenal Odds

Today's Football Tips
Liverpool (0.0, -0.5) Asian Handicap
Odds correct as of 2022-01-12 09:10 Odds subject to change.

As previously alluded to, I expect that the hosts will go full strength. Despite Klopp's obvious hatred of this competition, with his side nine points off the pace domestically and just two games away from a final- and a ninth League Cup title- I think the German supremo will have warmed to the cups charm by 18:30 on Thursday.

They have had no difficulty in dismantling the Gunners recently either, putting seven past them in the last 180 minutes of competitive action without reply. In the league, Liverpool have scored the most goals per game average of any side (2.60) and with their goals shared healthily around the squad I expect the goals to continue to flow, even if the best player in the world has other commitments. 

As for the visitors, they have developed a bit of a reputation as flat track bullies as they have only bested teams in the top half twice; Spurs (in September) and Leicester (currently 10th). This season, they have lost to Brentford, CHelsea, Man City (twice), Liverpool, Man Utd, Everton and most recently Nottingham Forest. 

All things considered, I thought taking Liverpool with a -0.25 asian handicap was the way to go as it gives us the added security that if they do draw, we only lose half of our stake.

Liverpool vs Arsenal Odds
Diogo Jota to score a brace
Odds correct as of 2022-01-12 09:15 Odds subject to change.

Given the uncertainty around team news and the appointment of a poor official for cards, I thought I would steer clear of bookings here even with Jimmy Milner’s price for a caution tempting me. Instead, choosing to delve into the goalscorer markets.

One man who loves facing Arsenal is Diogo Jota. The Portuguese frontman has faced them four times as a Red, playing a combined total of 190 minutes and bagged a staggering four goals. That is an average of one every 48 minutes! 

During those 190 minutes, he has racked up ten shots, seven off which on target, giving him a strike rate of 0.57 per SoT which essentially means 57% of his shots on target have found the back of the net in his four appearances vs Arsenal. 

At Wolves, he was not quite as prolific, but did still manage a goal in one of his two starts vs Arsenal. 

Best of luck if you are backing any of these selections and please remember to gamble responsibly.

2022 P/L: -1.38pts

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