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Nic Ladds 1st Dec 2010 - 11:21

Back Liverpool N' David to make the next round

Liverpool top their Europa League group after remaining unbeaten in their four matches so far. They need just one point against Steaua Bucharest to secure their passage to the next round as Roy Hodgson tries to salvage Liverpool's season.

Steaua Bucharest (21/10) still have plenty to play for as they sit second to Liverpool in Group K with five points. As Napoli and Utrecht are both on three points and play each other, Steaua need to keep picking up points.

Liverpool (7/5) do look a good price considering they smashed Steaua 4-1 (50/1 for a repeat of that scoreline) at Anfield in September. They have shown shoots of improvement since then in the league and things are looking brighter on Merseyside.

Steaua finished fourth in the Romanian Liga last season and they have slightly struggled to live up to it as they sit seventh after 17 matches this campaign. They are 10 points off the top but are still in with a shout of a European spot, however their form has dipped recently with just one win in five.

Liverpoool's plight domestically has been well documented and they sit tenth in the table with just 19 points from 15 matches. It is mainly their away form that has been the worry too with just one win all season and conceding on average one more goal than they score away from home.

When looking at first goalscorers in this match there should have been only two names worth considering. Steven Gerrard and David N'Gog have hit 4 and 5 goals respectively in the Europa League this season and they would once again have been the ones worth backing.

However this all changed when Steven Gerrard was ruled out for four weeks playing for England in their friendly against France. The onus now falls on David N'Gog to bag the goals and after he smashed in two in the 4-1 win against Steaua last time, it's hard to see the money going anywhere else.

The French marksman is 9/2 to bag the first goal, even money anytime or 5/1 to repeat his heroics and score two or more.

I also like the look the of our recent Match Winner offer that says David N'Gog will score anytime in a Liverpool victory at 3/1.

Without Gerrard, Fernando Torres will have to break his duck in Europe if Liverpool want to win comfortably. All his five goals have come in the Premier League but he is still 4/1 to score first in this match.

Liverpool are also without their talismanic captain Jamie Carragher but Kyrgiakos and Skrtel should be more than enough to cope with the pretty impotent threat that Steaua pose.

The home side only really have one scoring threat and that man is Bogdan Stancu. Only 19 goals have been scored by the whole team this season and he has 12 of them so if you fancy them to score, he will be the man to do it and he is 11/2 to score first and 6/4 anytime.

After a slow start to the season, Liverpool have picked up recently and their unbeaten run in Europe is set to continue. All they need is a point and to cover my back I will be backing Liverpool draw no bet at 4/6 but they should have more than enough to see off their Romanian counterparts.



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