Football Bet of the Day: Liverpool to rebound from Anfield humiliation – but will it be enough?

 | 17th April | 

5 mins read

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It all comes down to Thursday night in Bergamo for Liverpool as they bid to keep their dream of a Dublin send-off in May for Jurgen Klopp alive. The Reds need to overturn a 3-0 deficit after a humiliating defeat to Atalanta at Anfield last week, where a brace by Gianluca Scamacca and a late strike from Mario Pasalic shocked the hosts.

This Europa League quarter-final second leg is our Football Bet of the Day for Thursday, April 18, with more goals expected between two sides who know how to entertain.

Football Bet of the Day - Thursday, April 18

  • Liverpool to win & BTTS - Yes @ 13/8

A 3-0 defeat to the Italians was bad enough for Liverpool, but they managed to make a bad week even worse as they lost 1-0 to Crystal Palace at home on Sunday. That result means they are now third in the Premier League, level on points with second-placed Arsenal but two points behind leaders Manchester City, who rarely drop points at this stage of the season.

Remarkably, it now feels like the Europa League is their best chance of adding to the EFL Cup trophy they lifted back in February.

The chat after last week's first leg was that it was time to focus on the league, with the likes of Jamie Carragher even calling for Klopp to play a second-string side in Bergamo. That seemed like a nonsensical idea at the time, and Sunday's result makes it even more ludicrous.

Instead, now is the time for the Reds to send out a statement, both in Europe and in England. Winless in their last three, having also drawn 2-2 at Manchester United earlier this month, Liverpool need something to lift spirits and ensure they are not ambling towards nothingness for the remainder of Klopp's time in charge.

Despite all the current doom and gloom around the club, there are reasons to believe that they can turn this tie around.

For starters, they've been in a similar situation before. Back in May 2019, they were ridiculed after a humbling 3-0 defeat to Barcelona in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final tie. Goals from Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi (X2) looked to have wrapped things up for the Spanish side, but Liverpool - missing the likes of Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino - turned the tide on Merseyside to win 4-3 on aggregate courtesy of braces from Divock Origi and Georginio Wijnaldum.

This time around, Liverpool have a near fully-fit squad, with only Conor Bradley and long-term injury absentees Thiago Alcantara and Joel Matip missing. Alisson Becker and Trent Alexander-Arnold hadn't fully recovered in time to feature in the first leg against Atalanta, while the likes of Salah, Luis Diaz, Andy Robertson and Diogo Jota were only utilised as second-half substitutes.

Consequently, we should see a stronger starting XI from the Reds this time around, not least because there is a greater emphasis on the competition now that their chances of winning the Premier League have tumbled dramatically.

Klopp and his charges can also take encouragement from a mini-collapse from Atalanta in Serie A on Monday. La Dea sailed into a 2-0 lead within 18 minutes of their match against Hellas Verona, who are battling to preserve their Italian top-tier status.

However, Verona hit back in the second half and scored twice in a four-minute period to equalise before the hour mark. Despite home advantage, Atalanta were unable to get back in front, and the game ended 2-2.

If that doesn't give Liverpool confidence, nothing will.

I think Liverpool will be hugely motivated in Italy to right the wrongs of the first leg, and of the last few weeks. This could be the first of just seven games left with Klopp as manager, so they should be going all out to ensure he leaves on a high.

I'm backing them to win on Thursday, and there should be goals considering the two teams playing.

Only Napoli (40) and AC Milan (37) have conceded more goals in Serie A's top 10 than Atalanta (36), who have seen at least three goals in seven of their eight games at the Gewiss Stadium this calendar year.

Liverpool's attack has come under severe criticism in recent games, and for good reason, but it's their defensive numbers which have been a concern for a considerable period of time. The Merseyside outfit haven't kept a clean sheet in any of their last nine matches, four of which they won.

Unsurprisingly, only Manchester City (14) have won more games in this season's Premier League when both teams have scored. The Reds have managed it a further nine times in cup competitions, with four of those coming in the Europa League.

They're going to have to be pretty open on Thursday if they want to score a minimum of three goals and at least force extra time in Italy. That should make them even more vulnerable at the back, though, and the likes of Virgil van Dijk and Alisson will have to be at their best in one-on-ones to prevent their opponents from furthering their advantage in the tie.

Goals feel like a certainty, a Liverpool victory probable. But whether they can make it through to the semi-finals? That might be fanciful, but they'll give it a good go.

Betfred are running their famed Double Delight & Hat-trick Heaven offer on this match, meaning that if a player scores first and then nets again, you will be paid at double the odds. If he grabs a hat-trick, you will be paid at treble the odds!

Check out the rest of our Football Betting Tips here.

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