How the Bookies See it
- Winner: Liverpool 1/6, Draw 13/2, Plymouth Argyle 18/1 - Betfred
- First Goalscorer: Daniel Sturridge (LIV) 3/1, Divock Origi (LIV) 3/1, Roberto Firmino (LIV) 7/2 - William Hill
- Correct Score: Liverpool 2-0 11/2, Liverpool 3-0 6/1, Liverpool 1-0 17/2 - BetVictor
- Liverpool emerged from the hectic Christmas schedule looking a little jaded following a run of three games in the space of six days. Wins over Stoke and Manchester City saw the Reds keep pace with Chelsea at the top of the Premier League table, but a disappointing draw at the Stadium of Light seemed to leave Jurgen Klopp’s side somewhat deflated. In cup competitions, the Anfield side have a decent record under the German and, with no European commitments this season, the fans will be hoping for a decent run in this famous competition.
- Plymouth Argyle might be second in League Two and firmly in contention for an automatic promotion spot come May, but their form over the last few games has been questionable. Four defeats in their last eight league outings has seen a team who were running away at the top pegged back by a resurgent Doncaster Rovers. In their last game, the Pilgrims were unable to break down a Barnet side who showed great resilience at the back to steal a 1-0 win, a result that saw the Devon outfit surrender top spot ahead of the FA Cup weekend.
Liverpool might be 67 places above Plymouth in the English footballing pyramid, but the Reds have been known to underperform against lower league opposition. Defeats to Barnsley in 2008 and Oldham in 2013 were undoubtedly low points for messrs Benitez and Rodgers, but a 2010 League Cup humiliation at the hands of third tier Northampton Town is a moment that former manager Roy Hodgson and Liverpool fans will not forget in a hurry. However, under the tutelage of Klopp, the Merseyside outfit look to be a little less blasé when it comes to facing teams from outside of England’s top division.
With that in mind, the home side are heavily tipped to trample all over the dreams of their south coast opponents, with a win for the men in red being priced at 1/6 with Ladbrokes, while odds on a win to nil don’t look overly tempting either at 5/6. Liverpool are expected to win comfortably, so a wager in the correct score market could prove more profitable, with a 3-0 win looking promising at 6/1 with Paddy Power.
Klopp is likely to utilise his fringe players in this game, so don’t be surprised to see one or two unfamiliar names in the starting XI including the young English trio of Ovie Ejaria, Sheyi Oji and Trent Alexander-Arnold. Ben Woodburn is also a player who could get the nod as he looks to emulate his solid performance against Leeds United in the EFL Cup earlier this season. The 17-year-old Welshman is a 9/1 shot to break the deadlock, while a goal at anytime in a Liverpool win is priced at 6/4 with William Hill.
Having narrowly scraped past Newport County in round two, Plymouth aren’t being given much of a chance by the bookies as they prepare to visit Anfield for the first time in over 55 years. The visitors, who have never tasted victory in the city of Liverpool, are 22/1 with BetVictor to spring a huge shock, while a lucrative draw for the Pilgrims is available at 7/1. The Argyle faithful will hope the likes of Craig Tanner and Jake Jarvis can trouble the Liverpool backline, while former Premier League striker David Goodwillie (8/1 to score anytime) could also cause problems.
- Sports.net’s top tip: Liverpool to win 3-0 - 6/1 with Paddy Power
*Please note, odds may fluctuate in the run-up to kick-off.