Sports Betting Weekly

Liverpool v Blackburn Rovers

When: Sunday, 08 March 2015 @ 21:00 (FINISHED)
Where: Anfield
With the F.A. Cup final landing rather conveniently on Liverpool talisman Steven Gerrard’s birthday, you would be forgiven for believing that it was perhaps written in the stars that the Reds would get a tie that – on paper at least – should be a walk in the park for them to navigate safely.

With Brendan Rodgers’ side looking to bounce back from their European disappointment against Besiktas, there would be no better tonic than returning to Wembley Stadium for the first time since the 2012 FA Cup final – and it’s fair to say they won’t get a better chance for quite some time.

The draw has repeatedly been kind to the red half of Merseyside this season, with Liverpool having played just one Premier League side in Crystal Palace, and that run continues on Sunday with the visit of Blackburn Rovers.

While Anfield was the scene of arguably the biggest moment in Blackburn Rovers’ history as they won the Premier League title there in 1995, the rest of the omens make for grim reading. Liverpool haven’t lost at Anfield since the 2-1 defeat to Chelsea in early November and, to make it worse, this is a Rovers side who only secured their first win since Valentine’s Day with a 2-1 victory over Sheffield Wednesday earlier in the week.

Certainly, then, the stats all point to a Liverpool victory – and while you won’t find much value with that outcome priced at 4/11, if, as expected, the floodgates open and the Reds run riot, you can get Liverpool to win by three or more at 5/2 or exactly two at 3/1.

One thing Rovers can take solace from is the performance of fellow Championship outfit and fierce rivals, Bolton Wanderers, against Liverpool in the cup, where the Trotters only threw away a winning position after Neil Danns stupidly got sent off.

This is a Blackburn side who boast a potent threat up front, so if Bolton managed to cause Rodgers’ men problems, they’ll be more than confident of doing the same as well. Jordan Rhodes and Rudy Gestede have 28 strikes between them and have both proved themselves to be clinical finishers in front of goal if a chance arises, so neutral punters might be tempted by the 11/1 on the former opening the scoring at Anfield or the 12/1 on the latter doing the same.

That being said, even with that pair on form and firing, this is a mountain of a task for Gary Bowyer’s men and unsurprisingly the bookies aren’t giving them much of a prayer. Blackburn are 9/1 to win outright and are 33/1 to frustrate the home fans by sneaking a 1-0 win.

In terms of backing a Liverpool player to break the deadlock, both Mario Balotelli and Raheem Sterling are 9/2 to score first, while England international Daniel Sturridge is priced at 10/3. For those of a sentimental disposition, meanwhile, the Hollywood headline of Gerrard scoring anytime in the game to help take Liverpool to Wembley is also available at 28/13.