I’ve been looking at the odds for the game and this morning I saw that you could get 9/1 for us to win tonight.
That’s massive odds given that Liverpool were somewhat lucky to beat us last season. It’s only a one-off game after all and we all know anything can happen.
To prove that, Blues are beating a near enough full strength Stoke side on their own turf, with just a few minutes to go.
As always, it’s a funny old game.
Then again, I think I’m glad that I can’t access my online betting account, as I’d probably be tempted to have a dabble and my head says that would definitely be money wasted.
Let’s look at squad news first and on our part, Jack Grealish had a bit of a dead leg, but should be okay. Kortney Hause went off on Thursday and is being assessed, so that’s possibly up in the air.
And Orjan Nyland, Bjorn Engles, Tom Heaton and Wesley are all out.
Not that it matters, as any of those injured wouldn’t have got any chance of starting this game.
As for Liverpool, Joel Matip, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, and Kostas Tsimikas are all out until after the international break.
The big news is that Sadio Mane is out because of Corona virus, as is Thiago Alcantara.
That’s good news for us, as it may save us conceding a goal or two.
Having read this far, you may already be getting the impression that I’m not expecting much here.
And you’d be right.
It’s not that I think Liverpool are miles ahead of us and beating them is an outright impossibility.
But the fact is they’re a very good side and it’s a big ask for any side, anywhere to beat them. It’s as simple as that.
That’s not to say we can’t hope though. Already I’m seeing results generally that don’t look quite right to me, as much as it’s early days.
I think we may see some top teams doing very poorly this season and vice versa. I hope so anyway, as it’s always good when the game gets mixed up.
But that’s not enough for me to think we can win this one.
The only issue I can see is whether Barkley comes straight in for Hourihane or not?
If I didn’t have a clue what Barkley has cost us, I’d have probably said he was much more likely to come off the bench. And while I don’t rate Hourihane in open play at all, it seems Dean Smith does, which sort of backs up my thinking.
But if the rumoured £11 million it’s supposed to have cost us is anywhere near true, you have to wonder how we could possibly justify not starting him. It’s not as if he’s not fit, after all.
So yes, I think he will come straight in.
Otherwise, the team still pretty much picks itself and I expect Traore to keep his place over Trezeguet. Which is ok, as Trez is a good player to bring on later anyway.
Then, there’s how do we approach this?
Well, I think Liverpool are going to get a couple whatever happens.
Some might think we’re all sorted in defence, but I’m not in the slightest bit convinced.
Hence I think we should definitely go for them from the off.
Thursday was a totally different game, with a totally different set of players, I know, but if we play anything like that slow, liverpool will tear us to pieces.
That said, we won’t.
And I think it’ll be closer than my head is telling me.
I’m going for 2-1 to Liverpool.
I’d like to think we can scrape a draw, but I just don’t see it, I’m afraid.
Up the Villa!