After Liverpool's extraordinary exploits against Manchester City in the Champions League Quarter Final, Anfield promises to host a pulsating spectacle where the atmosphere will feel tangibly palpable from the very depths of our TV screens. Crank up the TV volume for 'you'll never walk alone', and let a heavily concentrated swarm of goosebumps chillingly stand erect from your skin. Tonight promises to be a special occasion in a match Liverpool are heavily backed to win.
Liverpool are gaining a reputation for being incredibly quick starters, their high intensity pressing approach has an uncanny knack of catching the opposition off guard, despite the long hours of preparation to successfully negotiate the tirade of pressure. Fuelled by a boundless stream of adrenaline, while feeding off the encouraging roar of the crowd, Liverpool can seemingly find an extra 10-15% of energy in the opening stages of a match. If Roma can successfully find a way of staying solid and compact in the first 25 minutes, they will massively improve their chances of reigning supreme over two legs. Importantly, it's about trying to find ways of letting the intensity of the game dissipate. However, if Liverpool continually win the ball high up the pitch and provide constant ammunition for Liverpool's front trio, this could be a humbling experience for Roma which shows no mercy.
Granted, Roma's 3-0 win against Barcelona shouldn't be underestimated, such a feat demonstrates immense resilience and character in the face of enormous struggle, but their away form in the Champions League does provide a cause for concern. Defeats against Barcelona, Shakhtar Donetsk and Atletico Madrid serve to justify this. Liverpool are currently being priced around the 1/2 mark outright, but taking into account Liverpool's propensity to start games quickly at Anfield, I'm looking to squeeze greater value out of this game on the premise of that fact. I'm taking the Liverpool WIN HT/FT @ 13/10, best priced with Coral, this constitutes a marked difference from their outright value. My other pick is a correct score with Liverpool to be winning 2-0 at HT, best priced @ 13/2 with Ladbrokes.
- Liverpool WIN HT/FT @ 13/10 (Coral)
- Correct Score HT - Liverpool 2-0 Roma @ 13/2 (Ladbrokes)
Words by David Huntingford