Premier League Champs Liverpool v Championship Champs Leeds

Last updated: September 11, 2020 by Leon Marshal

Game details

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Kick-off: Saturday, 17:30
Venue: Anfield
Coverage: Sky Sports
Home Form: WWDDW
Away Form: WWWWW
Last Meeting: Liverpool 2 – 0 Leeds
Competition: Premier League

The Premier League Champions Liverpool start their title defence against the Championship Champions Leeds at Anfield. Liverpool will be keen to have a strong start against very good opposition, who are in unfamiliar territory after a 16-year absence. A great game for Saturday night, we can’t wait.

The Champions start their title defence with pride after securing their first league title in 30 years. Jürgen Klopp has been an instrumental figure in the resurgence of Liverpool back onto the perch of top-flight football in England. They were a dominant side last season, with great mentality throughout the campaign to subdue Manchester City’s two-year dominance.

The Reds are second-favourites (9/4) to defend their title, despite winning the league by 18 points with the transfer window still weeks away. The lack of recruitment is a big question mark on their ambitions this season, especially with the fact that they need to add Goals from the midfield. Van Djik (5) is the closest to the front three Mane (18) Salah (19) Firmino (9) in terms of goals.

They had eight players who played 30 plus games, their overreliance on key players is a big gamble after such a short rest and on the verge of an intense season. Their front three, in particular, you would wonder if one of them gets an injury as it would be a big ask for them to feature for the entirety of the 38 games. They also have the Champions League and other domestic cups to contend with. Klopp often plays weakened sides in the cups, much to the annoyance of some sections of their support, a bigger squad and they could challenge on more fronts. After all, why drink a single when you can drink a double or even a treble.

They have also been over-reliant on the overlapping wingbacks for creativity with Alexander Arnold (13) Robertson (12) with a lack of adequate quality to penetrate sides through the middle. Whether they spend or not, Liverpool is still a very strong side that will want to make a statement of intent in their curtain-raiser.

Leeds have not been shy of making bold moves on big names; their recent pursuit of Julian Draxler from PSG would be an amazing signing in their ranks if it comes off. They brought in Spanish maestro Rodrigo Moreno from Valencia, despite the player having an offseason last season, the 29-year-old scored 16 goals and made four assists in the 2018 season for the Spanish club. Another quality player, despite his age, is Pablo Fernandez. The 35-year-old former Swansea man has put in some brilliant performances. Kalvin Phillips is also a name that stands out; impressive performances led to the ‘Yorkshire Pirlo’ earning an England call-up.

Patrick Bamford is the main man with 16 goals and two assists forming a formidable partnership with veteran Pablo Hernandez, who has also contributed with nine goals and nine assists. Although this partnership is likely to be broken up as early team news suggests a start for Moreno. Summer signing Robin Koch will start in defence, replacing the highly impressive Ben White who excelled last season, despite Leeds attempts to sign him, he has returned to his parent club, Brighton.

It’s been a sixteen-year wait and Leeds will be looking to make the most of it. The club’s primary goal will be to ensure safety and become a mainstay at the top table. This target seems a realistic and achievable prospect with manager Marcelo Bielsa in charge. Pep Guardiola has praised the 65-year-old who led his team from the disappointment of losing 2 – 0 in the playoffs to Derby two years ago to claim the Championship title the year after.

Team News

Liverpool has just made one signing, Kostas Tsimikas, but would likely make a couple more to add to their depth as rotation would be needed in the intense schedule of the season.

Captain Henderson returns to training but is likely to be on the bench due to lacking match-fitness.

Leeds are back to the promised land after a 16-year wait and the agony of losing the playoffs two years ago.

Leeds top scorer Patrick Bamford is likely to be benched to make room for record signing Rodrigo Moreno.

Expected Line-Ups:

Liverpool (4-3-3): Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson, Fabinho, Wijnaldum, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Salah, Firmino, Mane
Subs: Adrian, Kelleher, Gomez, Henderson, Williams, Jones, Elliott, Keita, Minnamino, Milner, Henderson, Matip, Origi
Not available:
Leeds (3-2-4-1): Meslier, Ayling, Koch, Cooper, Dallas, Strujk, Klich, Alioski, Hernandez, Harrison, Moreno
Subs: Bramford, Mliazek, Davis, Douglas, Casey, Stevens, Shackleton, Bogusz, Poveda, Roberts, Costa
Not available:

So Far This Season

. . .
Liverpool This Season Leeds This Season
1st League Position 1st
0 (0) Wins (away) 0 (0)
Biggest Win
0 (0) Draws (away) 0 (0)
Biggest Defeat
Top Goal Scorer
Y0, R0 Discipline Y0, R0
0 Failures to Score 0
100% Clean Sheets 100%
0% Both Teams to Score Games 0%
0% Over 2.5 Goals 0%
100% Under 2.5 Goals 100%
  • Liverpool and Leeds have played 13 games in recent times, The Reds have nine wins against Leeds 2 wins, and two draws between them.
  • Salah and Mane will be looking to kick start the season on a high after missing out on the Golden Boot last season.
  • Patrick Bamford and Pablo Hernandez had a goal involvement in 18 games in the Championship last season.
  • Liverpool has won 25 of their last 26 home matches in the Premier League.

Head to Head

Last 5 meetings between the two sides
Date Competition Game Result First Goal-scorer
03/11/2018 EPL Liverpool 3 – 1 Leeds Owen 35’
22/12/2017 EPL Liverpool 3 – 1 Leeds Owen 13’
29/11/2016 League Cup Liverpool 2 – 0 Leeds Origi 76’
22/09/2009 EPL Leeds 0 – 1 Liverpool Ngong 66’
29/02/2004 EPL Leeds 2 – 2 Liverpool Bakke 29′

Conclusion & Betting Tips

Leeds fans have waited so long for this moment; they would perhaps have chosen an easier game to return to the top-flight for the first time in a generation, but they will take it. They have the luxury of a fully-fit squad and have new signing Rodrigo Moreno to lead the line with a very hungry Patrick Bamford in reserve to test the Liverpool backline. If Leeds produce a battling display, something they are famous for, they have a chance.

It’s easy to focus on how tough this game will be for Leeds; it’s unlikely to be a picnic for Liverpool either, the players having to deal with the pressure and expectations that come with being champions. Leeds are likely to battle for every ball and give very little time on the ball. Liverpool has also been far from impressive since the restart; this quick turnaround may not suit them.

In games of old, you’d expect a 4-3 thriller in this fixture (whether that’s goals or red cards, we’ll let you decide) but, we could be spectacularly wrong but we are expecting a slow start to the season. Plenty of chances for both teams, but Liverpool more clinical in a 2-1 win. bet365 are offering 7/1 for this scoreline.