Brendan Rodgers will be going up against one of his former employers on Saturday as Liverpool welcome Reading to Anfield, as once again the bookmakers seem to have skewed the odds with the Reds looking poor value at 1/3 to take all the points.
Liverpool & the Northern Irishman endured the one sticky patch of his managerial career to date at the helm of the Berkshire outfit, leaving the Club just six months after joining in 2009.
However, since then Rodgers’s has enjoyed unparalleled success at Swansea City by successfully guiding them to the Premier League and keeping them there, before being given the reigns at Liverpool this summer.
After a shaky start to his tenure in charge of one of the true giants of the English game, the 39-year-old appears to be beginning to mark his own stamp on the Club and the players starting to buy into his philosophy, however despite some good performances on the pitch, the wins are seldom these days, and the Kop is still awaiting the first Premiership win of the season at Anfield.
- Don’t forget that Bet365 are offering free bets worth £200 to spend on any game on the weekend coupon, including Liverpool v Reading! More details here
In truth, the Reds couldn’t have had a much tougher run of fixtures in their opening games after coming up against both Manchester Clubs and Arsenal in the initial weeks of the campaign but a convincing 5-2 win at Norwich City helped to lift the Lancashire outfit into a more comfortable position in the league.
The challenge now for Liverpool is to kick on and propel themselves into the upper reaches of the division, and they will fancy their chances of getting three points against a Reading team that have found life tough back in the top flight.
Much will again depend on the skills of Luis Suarez, but it remains to be seen how much pressure for goals the Uruguayan can take – he can be backed at 3/1 with Bet365 to score first, while Rogers will have to do without Fabio Borini, the striker breaking a bone in his foot while on international duty for Italy midweek.
Their price of 1/3 is poor value, however, all things considered.
Brian McDermott was of course the man to take charge at the Madejski following Rodgers’ departure and it has proved to be an inspired appointment with the former scout overseeing their promotion to the Premier League as champions last season.
Despite that superb achievement, the Premier League is a different level altogether and the Royals will be concerned that they remain win-less up until this point and more importantly, that they occupy one of the dreaded relegation spots.
It is true that Reading haven’t had the rub of the green in some matches, with Demba Ba’s comical equaliser for Newcastle United springing to mind immediately, but they will know that they need a win sooner rather than later in order to prevent confidence dipping further.
Two draws in their previous two outings has seen them make progress, albeit slowly, but confidence is still brittle at Anfield, and the Royals literally have nothing to lose.
Defeats have come against Tottenham and Chelsea, and Liverpool are definiteley not in the class of those sides at the moment, which makes the 12/5 with Bet365 for Reading to avoid defeat the best bet in this one.
Whether that first taste of victory can be experienced at Anfield remains to be seen, but with both sides under pressure to get a win here it should make for an enjoyable watch.