Wide-eyed Liverpool to gain early lead over recoiling Black Cats

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The one aspect about Liverpool that makes them so pleasing to watch this season is their immediate yearning for goals, as soon as the game kicks off.

Ahead of the Manchester United battering, Sky Sports put together a package of clips that highlighted Liverpool’s desire to attack from the first whistle. The most stark of which showed the SAS and co getting a game underway, breaking forward immediately and creating a shooting opportunity.

Their fast-starting mantra has been backed up with early goals, which makes a bet on the result after 15 minutes against Sunderland the way to go from a gambling point of view.

Liverpool are 1/6 to pile more misery on the Black Cats’ survival bid over 90 minutes, with a draw at 13/2 and an away win 14/1.

But with little value associated with backing that outcome, it’s the far chubbier 9/4 about Liverpool leading after 15 minutes that’s the recommended splurge.

Only Manchester City have “won” more matches after the first third of the first half than Brendan Rodgers’ men, with Liverpool leading at that point eight times from their 30 tussles this term and scoring 11 goals – which is one behind City’s tally.

Conversely, Gus Poyet’s strugglers have rarely come out on top in the opening exchanges, leading just four times as the 15th minute ticks on to the clock.

The Mackems have actually trailed at that point more times than they’ve led, with six of their 29 matches passing the 15-minute mark with the red and white jerseys behind the eight ball.

Liverpool’s fast-starting lends itself to other bets too, and the 4/9 on the title hopefuls leading at both half time and full time is another solid bet, albeit at a less tempting price.

In their last 11 outings at Anfield in the Premier League, Liverpool have been ahead at the break and the full time whistle on 10 occasions and another wire-to-wire win looks likely when Sunderland arrive.

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.