Liverpool v Middlesbrough: Capital One Cup
Tonight sees Liverpool v Middlesbrough in the Capital One from Anfield and will the Reds woes continue this evening?
Rickie Lambert is in line for his first Liverpool start against Middlesbrough after four successive sub appearances, as Reds boss Brendan Rodgers is set to ring the changes to stop the rot before the Merseyside derby on Saturday.
Middlesbrough midfielder Dean Whitehead is suspended after a red card in the win over Brentford on Saturday but centre-back Daniel Ayala is available again after a ban.
Normally a home Capital One Cup tie against a Championship side would be a welcome break from a poor Premier League start, but successive domestic defeats to Villa and West Ham, and with Boro’ on a three-match winning streak, there’s a sense of unease.
Liverpool have proved vulnerable to lower-league teams in the competition, taken to extra time by Notts County last season and beaten on penalties by Northampton in 2010/11.
Further troubles were encountered as the just beat Crewe 2-1 in 2008/09.
In fact they haven’t beaten any of the previous nine Capital One Cup visitors by more than one goal, a run stretching a few months shy of a decade.
Boro’ haven’t lost by a margin steeper than one goal in 14 Capital One Cup games, a sequence going back over six years.
After recent success backing Aston Villa +2 and Ludogorets +2 on Merseyside, the statistics point us towards laying Liverpool -1 as the best bet for this clash at 2.1.
The bet covers every outcome, excepting a home win by two or more goals, and has given a profit in each of the Reds’ latest six fixtures as hosts – and nine of the last ten.
Liverpool have kept just one clean sheet in six games this season, and two in ten at Anfield since the start of February, while Middlesbrough have achieved only one away shut-out in four despite their three victories in that period.
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