Liverpool welcome back Leeds United from the cold after a 16-year absence from the top flight. The Reds themselves are looking to get their campaign off to the best possible start in the quest to retaining their Premier League crown. Ryan Fitzgerald-Nolan tips this box-office opening day encounter, having landed seven tips in his last three prediction posts.
Who is playing?
Liverpool vs Leeds United
What competition are Liverpool and Leeds playing in?
Premier League Matchweek 1
What time is kick off between Liverpool and Leeds?
17:30 BST, Saturday 12th September 2020
Which stadium is hosting Liverpool vs Leeds?
Anfield, Liverpool, UK
What channel is the Liverpool vs Leeds match on?
Sky Sports Main Event
Liverpool vs Leeds Summary
The title defence for Jurgen Klopp and his men begins with a stern task against Leeds United, arriving back into the Premier League champions of their respective EFL Championship.
Marcelo Bielsa triumphed in what was eventually a significant margin of 10 points over nearest rivals, West Brom, while the Merseysiders took their first title in 30 years at a canter of 18 points.
The meeting of the German and Argentine is one for the football purists, one of holistic footballing minds and tactical innovators. It’s set up to be an opening weekend cracker and is not to be missed.
Liverpool Team News and Form
Jurgen Klopp and co. done the impossible and banished the Premier League hoo-doo, carving their names into Anfield folklore forever more in the process.
Anything that accompanied the illustrious title last season was a bonus, but the challenge for the Reds is to kick on and go again- and do so against sides pulling out the big bucks, even in unprecedented times such as these. Liverpool have only forked out £11 million on backup left back Kostas Tsimikas, and it will be perhaps more impressive if Liverpool go on and win it this season without a burnout from a very settled starting eleven.
Two wins, a draw and a Community Shield loss against Arsenal at Wembley in pre-season will hardly ring alarm bells for the Kopites. There are records to chase and the current crop are looking to beat the record at L3 of 63 unbeaten home matches set by Bob Paisley’s side in the late seventies, with 59 the current standing.
In their pursuit of three points, the return to training of captain Jordan Henderson and Joel Matip will bolster Liverpool. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (knee) and Kostas Tsimikas (Coronavirus) will miss the opening day.
Leeds Team News and Form
A baptism of fire comes to mind when Leeds travel up the M62 to Merseyside this weekend. A tougher start couldn’t have been scheduled for the newly promoted outfit, who will also face Man City, Sheffield United and Wolves in their opening five fixtures.
Marcelo Bielsa’s famed notorious training regimes payed dividends in the 2019/20 season after exiting the playoffs in disastrous fashion in the Argentine’s sophomore season.
Quick-fire friendlies against Stoke (L 3-0) and Pacos de Ferriera (W 3-1) will not paint a full picture, despite many first team players sitting out the victory over the Portugues side. Instead, the momentum built at the tail end of last season’s promotion bid will be the source of inspiration on Saturday. The title lift in July capped off a final eight games unbeaten, five with clean sheets
Kalvin Phillips, Adam Forshaw and Stuart Dallas look to all play their part in the trip to Anfield, after doubts were cast on the latter in particular after sitting out the Nations League game against Romania.
Head to Head
Liverpool Last 5 Matches (All competitions)
- Blackpool (H) 7-2 Friendly win
- Arsenal (N) 1-1 (5-4 on pens) Community Shield defeat
- Red Bull Salzburg (A) 2-2 Friendly draw
- Stuttgart (N) 3-0 Friendly win
- Newcastle (A) 3-1 Premier League win
Leeds Last 5 Matches (All competitions)
- Charlton Athletic (H) 4-0 Sky Bet Championship win
- Derby County (A) 3-1 Sky Bet Championship win
- Barnsley (H) 1-0 Sky Bet Championship win
- Swansea City (A) 1-0 Sky Bet Championship win
- Stoke City (H) 5-0 Sky Bet Championship win
Liverpool Top Goalscorers
- Mohamed Salah (19 Premier League goals, 23 goals in all competitions in 2019/20) – Salah reached the 100 league goal contributions mark last campaign in just 116 appearances for the Reds. It was also his third consistent 20+ goal haul in all competitions for three seasons, as the Egyptian and his striking counterparts remain in their ever reliable form.
- Sadio Mane (18 Premier League goals, 22 goals in all competitions in 2019/20) – The Senegal international is likely to remain one of Jurgen Klopp’s mainstays for this season despite whispers of a move to one of the Spanish giants. Mane’s striking ability has really come into it’s own in the last few seasons, matching the 20+ goals scoring feats of his partner.
Leeds Top Goalscorers
- Patrick Bamford (16 EFL Championship goals in 2019/20)- Bamford topped the scoring charts at the second time of asking for the Yorkshire outfit. The striker’s hold up play seemed to attract plaudits in the second tier, but his finishing would seem the require work. Under performing by 18 goals compared to his xG at the start of the season, the big-money arrival of Rodrigo may spur on the mainstay to hold on to his place.
- Pablo Hernandez (9 EFL Championship goals and 9 assists in 2019/20)- Age seems to be but a number for the Spaniard, who has been a key figure in Marcelo Bielsa’s time at Elland Road. The 35-year-old only started 27 of the 46 Championship games last season, but such was his impact that saw him being named the club’s Player of the Year.
- Liverpool’s last home loss on the opening day came in 2003/04 against Chelsea, the season Leeds United were last in the Premier League.
- Leeds have only beaten the Reds once in their last nine attempts, with their last victory coming twenty seasons ago courtesy of a Lee Bowyer winner in a 2-1 win.
- Mohamed Salah has netted in every one of his three opening day fixtures for Liverpool.
- Leeds opening fixture back in that final season in the top flight came against Bobby Robson’s Newcastle United, which saw an entertaining 2-2 draw at Elland Road.
- Ben Woodburn and Divock Origi were on target for Liverpool when the sides last met in a 2016 League Cup game in what was Jurgen Klopp’s infancy as manager, while Leeds had Garry Monk at the helm.
|29th November 2016||LIV 2-0 LEE||League Cup|
|22nd September 2009||LEE 0-1 LIV||League Cup|
|29th February 2004||LEE 2-2 LIV||Premier League|
|25th October 2003||LIV 3-1 LEE||Premier League|
|23rd March 2003||LIV 3-1 LEE||Premier League|
Ryan’s Betting Tips
Liverpool are 4/9* as the Match Winner and Over 1.5 goals, being clear favourites to continue the unbeaten home run, along with Anfield not hosting a Premier League game with under 1.5 goals since December 2019.
Mohamed Salah’s consistency in front of goal on the opening day in each of the last three seasons means the Egyptian forward is 8/11* Anytime Scorer with Mark Jarvis.
Liverpool have not kept a clean sheet in six previous competitive matches. The Reds are 7/4* win plus BTTS with Mark Jarvis.
*Odds as of the time of writing (Tuesday 8th September 2020) and subject to change
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