Aidan Perkins feels Liverpool might have to bide their time as they seek a win on their trip to face much-improved Bournemouth on Sunday.
Liverpool will be aiming to stretch their lead at the top of the table when they resume their title challenge at Bournemouth on Sunday.
After 11 days off, Jurgen Klopp’s side are back in action on the south coast and will be aware Manchester City are now breathing down their necks after their dramatic late victory at Newcastle last weekend.
The gap to City can be extended back up to five points, although Pep Guardiola’s side will still have a game in hand, so the Reds will be gunning for a victory against the much-improved Cherries, who have only lost one of their last nine games in all competitions.
This is unlikely to be straightforward for Klopp’s side – who lost 1-0 at the Vitality Stadium last season – but they should be trusted to get the job done eventually again, like they have for much of the campaign so far.
Liverpool are 8/11 to win, Bournemouth are 3/1 and the draw is 16/5.
Second-half showing could be key again
Liverpool’s impressive league record this season reads: Played 20, won 13, drew six and lost just one.
However, they have often had to grind out results on their way to leading the table, particularly of late.
The Reds have been level at half-time in four of their last five league games and it’s often been in the second half when they have gone on to stamp their authority over their opponents.
Nine of their last 10 goals in all games have come after the break as they have worn sides down and eventually come out on top and it could well be a similar story on Sunday.
The draw/Liverpool outcome in HT/FT seems a wise selection then, especially when you consider how much better Bournemouth have been since mid-November as they look to stifle the leaders early on.
Andoni Iraola’s side have won seven of their last nine games in all competitions, only drawing with Aston Villa and losing to Tottenham in that run, and they have proven to be difficult opposition at home, showcased by 3-0 and 2-0 victories over Fulham and Newcastle respectively.
Liverpool should prevail but it could be another late show from the visitors that secures them the three points.
Familiar two-goal winning margin appeals
Even though it could take Klopp’s side a while to get going, backing them to come out on top by a two-goal winning margin, on offer at 4/1, also looks a good option.
Liverpool have won three of their last four matches by two goals exactly, and of their 13 league wins so far this term, seven have been by two goals.
Included in those results was the reverse fixture at Anfield between the two sides in August, which ended 3-1 to the home side.
Diaz a dangerman
Luis Diaz has had a difficult season so far, hit by some injury issues and off-field problems, but they all seem to be behind the Colombian now and he arguably turned in his best display of the campaign in the recent 2-0 FA Cup win over Arsenal, when he scored the late second goal.
Diaz has managed six goals so far for the Reds in all competitions and seems likely to keep his place down the left for the visitors after also impressing in the 2-1 League Cup win over Fulham last time out.
The 27-year-old has attempted eight shots in his last five outings, of which four have been on target, so the 19/10 price for him to notch anytime versus Bournemouth is attractive.