Rob Eddy's picks for Liverpool's Europa League opener include goals, an anytime scorer and a result.
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Liverpool to win & both teams score @ 17/10
Over 3.5 goals @ 6/5
Liverpool are hot favourites to top Group E and it is difficult to see them slipping up in a group featuring Toulouse, Union SG and Thursday’s opponents LASK Linz. Thursday’s trip to Austria shouldn’t pose too many problems, but Klopp is likely to give several of his star names the night off so a lively encounter can be expected.
Liverpool to win & both teams score
Liverpool have made a good start to the season, but it hasn’t come without some of the old issues that caused the Reds so many problems in last season.
Defensive frailties ultimately cost the Anfield side their place in the top four and there have been signs that the weaknesses at the back still remain. It hasn’t helped that Virgil van Dijk has been suspended for two matches and Ibrahima Konate injured at the same time, and clean sheets have been hard to find as a consequence.
Wolves scored first last Saturday and that was the third time in four matches Liverpool had conceded the opening goal. The Reds ran out 3-1 winners at Molineux, and they had to fight back to beat Newcastle and Bournemouth prior to that.
Only Aston Villa have been shut out in the new season, so LASK will fancy their chances of extending a run that has seen them score in nine of their last ten matches. Liverpool’s quality should see them to victory but they may not have things all their own way.
Over 3.5 goals
Both teams have scored in four of Liverpool’s five matches this term and three of their five fixtures have featured at least four goals. The Reds have scored three goals on three occasions this season and they are fancied to at least match that on Thursday.
LASK can play their part too, backed by a fervent home support and the goals could flow in a lively encounter which could feature at least four goals.
Cody Gakpo to score two or more goals
Cody Gakpo looks to be a firm favourite of Klopp’s and he is likely to get the nod once again on Thursday. Having scored against Wolves on Saturday, he is fancied to continue his decent start to the season.
The youngster has scored in his last three matches for club and country, following his efforts for the Netherlands recently, and he is likely to get plenty of chances against LASK.
Gakpo scored three goals in five fixtures in this competition for PSV last season and he looks a great price to bag at least twice this week.