Liverpool’s sullen striking hope boosted to bag first at Leicester

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Raheem Sterling was a live tip to win this season’s PFA Young Player of the Year award after finishing last season strongly, carrying his form into the World Cup, then continuing the good play in the early part of the current campaign.

As expectations have risen, perhaps unfairly in the absence, either enforced or metaphorical, of Daniel Sturridge and Mario Balotelli, Sterling’s form has dipped.

The Liverpool youngster hasn’t scored a goal since September and, in the wake of his admission of tiredness during international duty, has endured some stinging criticism.

His luck is sure to change though, and for those believing a mid-week trip to Leicester is the catalyst there hasn’t been a better time to throw financial support behind the Jamaican-born flyer, as well as moral.

Ladbrokes have boosted Sterling’s price to score the first goal at the King Power Stadium on Tuesday night from 5/1 to a whopping 7s, making him as good a bet as any on offer with the bookmaker for the encounter.

Although the diminutive forward has suffered from exhaustion already this season, there is little danger of Brendan Rodgers rotating Sterling out of his starting lineup, like he did to his detriment against Aston Villa, with the Reds seeking wins.

Played at either the tip of the diamond, up front with a partner or out wide, Sterling is also going to be regularly getting into the kinds of positions that lend themselves to goalscoring and, against a team that have not won in eight and kept just one clean sheet in that time, that is no bad thing.

Leicester also have a happy, in Sterling’s case, knack of allowing their opponents to score the first goal, doing so nine times in their 13 league games this season; the second-most amount in the division.

So, if Sterling does end up pawing a gong at the end-of-season do it could be this Foxes trip that changed his fortunes, and you can say you changed your own by backing him to score first with Ladbrokes.

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

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.