After kicking off their league campaign with a disappointing 3-0 defeat to West Brom, Liverpool’s fine performance in Sunday’s 2-2 draw with Manchester City seems to have restored some faith in the Brendan Rodgers project.
Although the former Swansea boss’s reign is still in its infancy on Merseyside, there are signs that his methods are starting to take seed with his new players, and the Anfield faithful will be hoping to see further improvement in tonight’s Europa League tie with Hearts.
The Reds ran out comfortable 1-0 winners in the away leg a week ago, and are firm 1/5 (1.20) favourites with to finish the job with a win this evening.
Liverpool’s last home defeat in this competition was against Celtic nine years ago, but few give Hearts much hope of reproducing their Scottish compatriots’ result in this match.
The Jambos are hefty 14/1 (15.00) outsiders to grab their first Europa League away victory in eight years, against the three-time Uefa Cup winners.
John McGlynn’s side have drawn three of their first four league games this season, and you can get odds of 5/1 (6.00) on them claiming a creditable draw today.
The Reds have only conceded once in their last eight Europa League encounters, and if they can control possession as they did in Edinburgh last week then Hearts should not get too many chances on goal.
You can back the home side to win without conceding at odds of 3/4 (1.75), as they have in all three of their European ties this season.
With Lucas injured, new signing Nuri Sahin still ineligible and a number of midfielders set to be rested either in preparation for Sunday’s clash against Arsenal or to finalise last-minute moves away from the club, Jonjo Shelvey should play a major role in the centre of the park.
The England Under-21 international demonstrated his keen eye for goal last season, scoring six times in ten games whilst on loan at Blackpool, before opening his Liverpool account with goals against Oldham and Chelsea on his return to Anfield. At 11/4 (3.75), he looks like great value to get on the score-sheet this evening.
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Al Hain-Cole is a Liverpool fan, experienced tipster and avid follower of European football. He specialises in accumulators and if you would like to read more from Al you can follow him on Twitter here.
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