Liverpool v Middlesbrough Betting Preview
Back Liverpool to secure a top-four finish with a win
Three teams can still finish in the top-four and qualify for the Champions League, and Liverpool are right in the mix. The Reds are currently fourth sitting on 73 points, two behind Manchester City and one ahead of Arsenal in fifth. A win for Jurgen Klopp’s side would guarantee Champions League football next season, but would need Man City to slip up against struggling Watford to claim third and automatic qualification to the group stage.
They will be focusing on their own performance, and a 4-0 win away at West Ham earlier in the week was the perfect preparation for this final day clash with relegated Middlesbrough. They’ve only lost one of their last 11 Premier League games, and the Anfield faithful will be expecting another victory on Sunday. They have only won one of their last three at home, and haven’t won a final league game of the season since 2014, but I don’t think there’s much doubt they’ll pick up three vital points this weekend.
It was always going to be a tough task for Middlesbrough to stay in the Premier League this season, and after having relegation confirmed a couple of weeks ago they come into the final day with nothing but pride to play for. They’ve only won five Premier League games all season, and only one since Christmas, so it looks a very difficult ask for them to take anything away from Sunday’s game.
They’ve also only won once away from home all season, netting only ten goals, the second-worst away tally in the league behind Hull City (9). They’ve lost their last two and haven’t beaten a top-six side this campaign, and with nothing to play for I don’t fancy their chances at all.
The form book doesn’t look promising for Middlesbrough in this one. They have only won one of the last 11 meetings between the two, stretching back to 2005, and haven’t claimed a victory at Anfield since 1976. Liverpool won the reverse fixture 3-0 earlier in the season, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see a similar result on Sunday.
To score – Daniel Sturridge 8/11
The English forward has only played 687 minutes of Premier League football this season, but scored on his first start since January in Liverpool’s 4-0 win over West Ham earlier in the week. He currently has three goals in his 19 league appearances this campaign, and only one of those has come at Anfield, but I think Jurgen Klopp will start him on Sunday as Liverpool will be going for the win. I’m backing him to find the net at any time, priced at 8/11.
Both teams to score – No 2/5
Middlesbrough have only scored 27 league goals all season, the lowest of any team in the league, and their away form this campaign doesn’t give them much hope of scoring here. Prior to their 0-0 draw with Southampton two weeks ago, Liverpool had scored in their previous 14 homes games, and after keeping five clean sheets in their last seven wins against Middlesbrough I wouldn’t be surprised to see them win to nil on Sunday. You can back odds of 2/5 for it.
Match odds – Liverpool 1/7
Liverpool know that they need a win to stand a chance of qualifying automatically for the Champion League next season, and I expect them to go all out against a Middlesbrough side with nothing to play for. You can back the Reds to win at 1/7, but it may be wiser to put them in an accumulator to increase the odds. A draw is priced at 8/1, and an almost-impossible Middlesbrough win you would feel is currently 22/1.
Writer’s Prediction: Liverpool 3 – 0 Middlesbrough
*Odds correct at the time of publication, click here for all the latest odds on upcoming football matches.