Klopp’s selection dilemma
After their shock defeat at Watford and maybe not so surprising FA Cup loss at Chelsea, it will be interesting to see what sort of line-up Jurgen Klopp puts out when Liverpool host Bournemouth, especially with that huge game against Atletico Madrid up next.
Klopp may decide to rest one (or more) of Mo Salah, Sadio Mane or Roberto Firmino with Wednesday’s game in mind. Mane looks the most vulnerable after playing the full 90 minutes at Stamford Bridge. Takumi Minamino or Divock Origi both started that game as well but neither really impressed. One or both of them may get another chance or Kopp may just decide that in a bid to not lose any more momentum, he’s best off going with the tried and tested Mane/Salah/Firmino trio once more.
But with all these uncertainties regarding who might feature in attack, it’s unwise to try to play the goalscorer markets before the team-sheets are announced.
Whatever side the German does play, the odds-compilers still think the Watford and Chelsea games were just a minor blip. It’s just 11/10 the Reds win to nil.
Banned Ancelotti improving the Toffees
Carlo Ancelotti is likely to have to watch Everton’s visit to Stamford Bridge from the stands after being sent off at the end of the Toffees’ draw against Manchester United. As he pointed out, it shouldn’t be too much of an issue because the stands are so near the dugout that he can practically talk to his assistant Duncan Ferguson directly. He should know: he used to be manager at Stamford Bridge.
Everton were pretty unlucky to have just the one point to show for their efforts after playing Arsenal and Manchester United. Things don’t get any easier after that trip to Chelsea, with home matches against Liverpool and Leicester, a trip to Spurs and only an away game at Norwich looking somewhat more appetising between now and mid-April.
But Ancelotti’s made a fine start to his career at Everton and they look more than capable of grabbing at least a point on Sunday afternoon.
Chelsea were good in beating Liverpool in the Cup on Tuesday night but a lay of the hosts at a somewhat short [1.9] looks the way to go.
Wolves man Doherty hungry for more
When looking for a good right-back or wing-back you want a player with good tackling skills, decent positioning, stamina to get down the line, pace to get past the opponent’s left-back and some decent crossing ability a big bonus.
What you don’t normally expect is for them to be prolific in front of goal. But try telling that to Wolves’ Matt Doherty. Last season he scored four and is now already on four for this season after netting at Spurs last weekend, to go with an assist.
It’s surely only a matter of time before a Champions League club makes some inquiries about him.
He’ll do his chances of getting a big move no harm at all if he scored again at home to Brighton this Saturday. It’s just a 7/2 shot on the Sportsbook, but you’ll get much better odds than that nearer the time on the Exchange.
Lots of buzz about Hornets’ Sarr
Sometimes players just need a little bit of time to settle down when arriving at a new league.
A case in point is Watford’s Ismaila Sarr. The former Rennes man cost £25,000,000 but hardly played till December as some teething issues clearly set in.
He’s since made up for lost time because his brilliant brace (and assist) against Liverpool made it five goals and four assists for the season. Not a bad return for a player who has been on the pitch for just 1131 minutes this campaign.
He was likely to get an extended run in the side anyway but with Gerard Deulofeu out injured for a while, he’ll be even more important to the cause now.
Abraham’s loss is Giroud’s gain
If Sarr started the season slowly, Tammy Abraham started it very brightly indeed. Seven goals in five games at the beginning of the campaign is Ronaldo/Messi territory but an injury picked up recently threatens to ruin all the momentum he gained and no-one seems to know quite when he might be back. With Euro 2020 not that far away either, it could even cost him his place in the squad.
The chief beneficiary is French veteran Olivier Giroud. He hardly had a kick all season but with Abraham out and Michy Batshuayi out of favour, the former Arsenal man looks to be Chelsea’s main man. It’s 5/4 he scores against Everton and a few more goals may well put his own Euro 2020 ambitions back on track.