Weblog: The football punter

Reds can keep pressure on City with big victory

Sky Sports Premier League/Main Event, 8pm Friday

Liverpool's destiny in the Premier League title race is out of their hands but they are doing everything possible to exert maximum pressure on Manchester City and that can continue with a thumping victory over Huddersfield at Anfield.

Many Liverpool supporters had pinned their hopes on City dropping points in Wednesday's Manchester derby. But Pep Guardiola's side passed the test comfortably, causing a significant shift in the title betting with City's odds shrinking to 1-4 and Liverpool's lengthening to 3-1.

However, it only takes one slip to open the door for Liverpool and that will probably be on the mind of Jurgen Klopp when he selects his team.

Priority number one for Klopp is to get the victory but the German may also be eyeing up boosting the Reds' goal difference just in case the teams finish on the same number of points.

City's goal difference is eight superior, so Liverpool have plenty of work to do, but opportunities to rack up a big score do not come much better than this.

The Terriers' relegation was on the cards for months but they have been even less competitive since Jan Siewert was appointed in January.

At that time Huddersfield had conceded 40 goals in 23 Premier League games at an average of 1.74 goals per game. They have since shipped 29 in 12, an average of 2.42 per match, and the floodgates opened in April with a 4-1 home loss to Leicester and a 4-0 thumping away to Tottenham.

Liverpool have the ability to inflict a wide-margin defeat on them but much depends on how the hosts approach the game.

Klopp has next Wednesday's Champions League semi-final trip to Barcelona to consider but there is a four-day gap between the games, giving ample time for key players to recover.

And the best way to go into the Barca game is on a high, having dealt out a hammering to one of the weakest teams the Premier League has seen.

Huddersfield's 13-point tally is just two more than the record low set by Derby in 2007-08 but they could still set an unwanted benchmark of 30 Premier League defeats if they lose their last three – they are at home to Manchester United and away to Southampton after this game.

Securing any more points will be difficult but perhaps necessary if Siewert is to convince owner Dean Hoyle that he is the right man to lead next season's anticipated promotion push.

There has been talk of unrest in the dressing room and Danish duo Mathias Jorgensen and Phil Billing have been notable absentees since mid-March.

Even with everyone pulling in the same direction, Huddersfield's lack of quality made it tough for them to compete.

But the togetherness which played such a key role in their success under David Wagner appears to have disappeared, leaving them vulnerable.

Spurs put four past them without having to play anywhere near their best and the chances are that Liverpool will rack up an even bigger victory margin.

Premier League standings

Liverpool to win 5-0
Liverpool to win 6-0

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Match in Focus


Legia Warsaw v Rangers

Home WinDrawAway Win
Key stats
  • Gers have conceded just three goals in their six European games this term
Expert verdict
Rangers travel to Poland buoyed by some solid form in European qualifiers. The Gers toppled Danish outfit Midtjylland 7-3 on aggregate in the last round, taking their tally to 19 goals in six games.However, unbeaten Legia haven’t conceded in six games and are a step up.