Liverpool set for frustration in Florence
After Liverpool's explosive 6-1 against Hull at the weekend, they will be hoping to carry this form in to Europe and justify odds of 5/6 about them beating 11/4 chances Fiorentina in the Champions League.
After their demolition job of Hull, which included a hat trick from Fernando Torres confidence will be high at Anfield and the Spanish star only played 68 minutes of the game and he can be backed at 25/1 to score another hat trick or 4/1 just to score the first goal of the game.
Torres will play but Rafa Benitez will be acutely aware of how injury prone his star his and how key he is to Liverpool's chances of success you can be sure any sign of the game being safe and he will pull 'El Nino' off to preserve his fragile legs for the long season ahead.
This will not be easy though as The Reds have already put in an unconvincing performance in their 1-0 win against Debrecen and Fiorentina sit fourth in Serie A and are undefeated at home so Benitez may well be happy with a draw at 11/5 ahead of their two matches against Lyon coming up.
A low scoring affair looks most likely here and the 11/5 about under two match goals or 5/2 for exactly two both look fair bets with odds of just 10/11 for the overs.
Fiorentina have not conceded a goal in their three home Serie A victories and while Liverpool offer a more potent attacking threat, they will be unlikely to have the goals flooding in and a correct score of 1-1 at 11/2 or even 0-0 at 13/2 could well be the answer.
A narrow 1-0 away victory can be backed at 5/1 with 2-0 13/2 with a 1-0 Fiorentina win at a healthy looking 15/2.
For a first goal scorer, Torres' chances have already been highlighted while Steven Gerrard, so often Liverpool's hero is 6/1 to score first with Dirk Kuyt at 13/2 but a wager on Ryan Babel to score anytime at 7/2 could be the call as he bagged two at the weekend and with Yossi Benayoun out he may get a chance to build on that performance.
Fiorentina are missing the lethal Alberto Gilardino but English fans will be familiar with the work of Adrian Mutu who is 15/2 to open the scoring but Stevan Jovetic has score three already this season and look the best call for a home first goal at 9/1 or 10/3 to score anytime.
At the prices it looks best to leave Liverpool alone at 5/6 as they know they will have easier opportunities to cement their way through to the knock-out stages and they may have one eye on their huge game against Chelsea at the weekend so a draw may be the best they can muster.
At a big price a chance is taken on Liverpool/draw at 14/1 in the double result market on the pretence that they will start brightly then the home side will come back once the big guns get taken off, while although it is short, it is fair to think that 1-1 looks the most likely scoreline.
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1-1 - 9/2
Liverpool/draw - 14/1