It’s a special European anniversary at Anfield tonight … well, sort of.
On November 25, 1964 – 56-years ago tonight – Liverpool introduced red shorts to go with their red shirts for the first time in a European Cup tie against Anderlecht.
Ian St John explained: “Bill Shankly thought the colour scheme would carry psychological impact – red for danger, red for power. He came into the dressing room one day and threw a pair of red shorts to Ronnie Yeats. ‘Get into those shorts and let’s see how you look,’ he said. ‘Christ, Ronnie, you look awesome, terrifying. You look 7ft tall.’ “
Anderlecht were terrified and the all Reds won 3-0.
Red socks followed a few weeks later.
So will Liverpool celebrate with a victory which would guarantee qualification for the knockout stages of the Champions League with two games remaining?
After their sensational 5-0 waltz in Italy bookies thepools.com are a little generous in making the Reds 4/6 to win and that has to be gobbled up.
For bigger prices, Liverpool were 2-0 up in 41 minutes on Sunday against Leicester, led 2-0 at half-time in Bergamo and have scored in the first half of 11 of their 14 matches across all competitions this season.
Liverpool half-time Liverpool full-time is 6/4 , a price which looks even more appealing when you consider that Atalanta side have conceded the first goal in four of their last six games.
The potential for goals is also high.
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Gian Piero Gasperini’s side finished as top scorers in Serie A last season with a staggering 98 goals, they are averaging more than two goals a game this term as well and their last five matches in this competition on an opponent’s ground have yielded 24 goals in total.
So Over 3.5 goals is only 19/20 with thepools.com
Mo Salah is expected to be back in contention after sitting out Sunday following his positive coronavirus test – and one goal against the Italians would put him out on his own as Liverpool’s second highest scorer in European competition – he is currently joint-second with Michael Owen on 22 goals.
He is 3/1 to score the first goal and 3/4 to score at any time .
And while Salah has a long way to go to catch Steven Gerrard, who leads the way with 41, the Egyptian’s 22 goals have come in just 38 appearances.
Roberto Firmino, who has played in 52 of 53 games in Europe under Jurgen Klopp, only missing the second leg of the semi-final against Barcelona in 2019, is a 6/4 anytime scorer and you can’t ignore Diogo Jota who is a great price at 4/1 to score first after scoring six goals in his last five starts.
Olympiacos v Man City
So City’s bid to reclaim the Premier League crown is not going according to plan, languishing in mid-table and having scored the same number of goals as Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
But it has been a different story in the Champions League, with Pep Guardiola’s men winning every match by a margin of at least two goals, including a 3-0 battering of Olympiakos at the Etihad.
City are understandably 3/10 favourites in the early kick-off (17.55pm) but they will have to be switched on to justify that price.
The Greeks only home group game so far was a 1-0 win over Marseille, their domestic form this season has been impressive, going unbeaten in eight fixtures, and their only defeats this term have come against City and Porto (0-2).
They have lost just two of their last 16 European home matches (W10, D4) but have won just one of their last five against Premier League sides here though (W1, D2, L2), with both defeats seeing them fail to score.
City to win to nil is 19/20 and they have lost just two of their last 12 European competition away matches (W8, D2). As both of those defeats came against Premier League rivals they are actually unbeaten abroad in that run.
Six of Olympiacos’ last seven competitive home matches have been goalless after the first half and draw half-time City full-time is 14/5 .
Ferran Torres bagged a 12th minute strike in the reverse fixture, meaning that he has scored in all three group stage matches for City so far. He is 7/2 to open the scoring and 21/20 anytime .