Champions League: Trent long shot no long-shot…

Liverpool host a potentially nervy 2nd leg of the Champions League qualifier against Hoffenheim tonight.  Leading 2-1 from the first leg, Liverpool will know it is far from job done, a missed penalty was the most glaring of a number of German misses that night, and they can be expected to cause Liverpool problems.

We expect to see goals at both ends with Liverpool ultimately hanging on to go through but not before giving their supporters the customary cliffhanger.

Jurgen Klopp is likely to field a powerful front line, and there were signs on the weekend, with 5 changes in the game against Crystal Palace, of certain players being given certain games.  In particular, he may well revert to the full back option from the first leg – Alberto Moreno & Trent Alexander-Arnold – as opposed to the weekend pairing of Gomez and Robertson.

Both Moreno and Alexander-Arnold are interesting in the goal-scorer markets. Alexander-Arnold showed his set-piece prowess with a superb goal in the first leg, and Klopp mentioned afterwards that he had instructed the team that the young right back take free kicks suiting a right footer, and Moreno those suiting the left.

Arnold is around 8/1 to score anytime (as low as 5/1 in places), and Moreno a very attractive 12/1.  They both look interesting bets, but when we consider how they will score, long shots, and in particular direct free kicks look much the most likely method of strike.

Paddy Power offer odds on players scoring from outside the box.  Unfortunately they don’t list Moreno as he would be interesting, but after his first leg goal, Alexander-Arnold can be expected to take any free kick that is within a right footer’s reasonable remit.  The offer for him is 20/1, and, given our view that outside the box is the most likely route to goal for TA-A, then we think that compares favourably with the 8/1 that he scores at all.

Recommendations: 

Trent Alexander-Arnold, to score from outside the box, 1pt win, 20/1 Paddy Power

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