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The Reds are strong favourites to progress to the Europa League play-off round and Adam Bate is not expecting an upset here. Even so, FC Gomel are unlikely to be humiliated

Liverpool will surely feel they have done the hard work in Belarus when they defend a one-goal lead against FC Gomel at Anfield on Thursday.

If Brendan Rodgers' side can avoid defeat here they will progress to the play-off round of the Europa League – just the small matter of 19 games stand between the Reds and continental glory this season.

Liverpool can be backed at 1/5 (1.2) with Bet365 to win this second leg and give Rodgers a win in his first competitive game in charge at Anfield. The odds for them to qualify stand at 1/33 (1.03).

That gives you an indication of the scale of the challenge awaiting the Belarusian side going into this one.

A trip to play the 18-time English champions will be an event for this team and much will depend on whether they see this as an exercise in damage limitation or an opportunity, for the attacking players in particular, to catch Liverpool cold.

In truth, any realistic chance of the latter has probably passed so Gomel will need to do what they can to keep things tight and nick a win.

They are 14/1 (15.0) to achieve that on the night and the same price to qualify – although the latter is a bet to avoid given they can win 1-0 on the night and still be denied qualification.

Indeed, 1-0 would seem the most likely scoreline if the underdogs are to cause an upset and is available at an industry-best 28/1 (29.0) with Bet365. The draw is available at 5/1 (6.0).

While the smart money suggests that will prove a tough task for Gomel given the gulf in class between the two sides, this is a Liverpool team adjusting to life under Rodgers.

When Rodgers was Swansea boss, the primary focus – especially at home – was to restrict the opposition by starving them of possession, even if that didn’t lead to goalscoring chances.

As a result, it may be too much to expect the Reds to thrash their opponents here. Backing under 2.5 goals could be the way to go at 11/10 (2.1).

With Luis Suarez recovering from his Olympic exertions and Andy Carroll nursing a minor groin strain, strike options aren’t as good as they might be for Liverpool either.

It was Stewart Downing who popped up to score the only goal of the game in the first leg and he’s a value pick at an industry-best price of 12/1 (13.0) to grab the opener again here.


BET
OF THE
DAY
BEST BET
VALUE BET
Under 2.5 goals at 11/10 (2.1) with Bet365
Downing to score first at 12/1 with Bet365

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Adam Bate is a professional freelance journalist who specialises in football and betting. He is editor of GhostGoal which can be found here - you can also follow Adam on

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