Perfect Europa League start unlikely enough to take Liverpool on

Brendan Rodgers takes his wounded side to the south of France to begin his second European campaign as Liverpool boss, but if the last one is anything to go by, armchair Reds will be reaching for the remote fairly sharpish.

Bordeaux are the opposition in Group B and while the last Liverpool outfit to face the French club beat them 1-0 in their own backyard in October 2006, that particular vintage had just bagged the Champions League under then boss Rafael Benitez.

Nearly nine years on things are vastly different. For starters this encounter comes in Europe’s B competition and rather than a proven, savvy continental operator at the helm, Liverpool arrive at the Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux looking vulnerable under Rodgers.

Having made a total pig’s ear of qualifying from the group stages of the Champions League last season, despite a merciful group draw barring top seeds Real Madrid, it’s hard to back Liverpool with any confidence in Bordeaux.

It’s now five away games in Europe without a win for Liverpool, while four of those have been defeats in which they failed to score.

Added to this appalling record on their recent European travels, the Reds arrive fresh from consecutive Premier League defeats, shipping six times and scoring only once.

Meanwhile, Bordeaux will be buoyant having rescued a draw from behind at Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain prior to this, despite being with 10 men for the final 15 minutes, and haven’t conceded at home in two Europa League qualifying wins to make the group phase.

Willy Sagnol’s side therefore look good value at 19/10 to grab the points, while 1-0 to the hosts at 7/1 could be a corker.

For those who prefer insurance policies, the 1/1 on the hosts without the draw or the 1/2 double chance also appeal.

Anyone who thinks Liverpool will tear up the form book and bounce back from their recent disappointments however, may wish to take Ladbrokes up on their price boost for the match.

The bookmaker are enhancing the Liverpool win where both teams score from 7/2 out to 9/2.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Christian Crowther

Give Christian a sport with anything remotely spherical in it and he’ll happily while away the hours watching it on the box. However, he’d much prefer writing about, playing or betting on golf, football, cricket, tennis, snooker.... you get the picture.