The very last Premier League match of 2014 is upon us, with the year’s football rounded off by Swansea’s trip to Liverpool.
To celebrate the occasion, Ladbrokes have magicked Raheem Sterling’s odds to score first from 9/2 out to a juicy 6/1.
It’s a price that looks especially tempting given Brendan Rodgers’ recent decision to transform the youngster into a striker while Daniel Sturridge is out injured.
Liverpool’s lack of goals in the absence of the former Chelsea man has been a key reason behind their faltering campaign, but Sterling has quickly taken up Sturridge’s mantle at the spearhead of the Reds’ attack.
Since moving upfront Sterling has scored three times in four matches, including the only goal in the 1-0 win at Burnley in Liverpool’s last Premier League game.
The 20-year-old also notched twice as the Reds beat Championship leaders Bournemouth 3-1 in the Capital One Cup.
Sterling drew first blood in that encounter as well, meaning he has been the first name on the scoresheet in two of Liverpool’s last three games.
In fact so far this season four of Sterling’s six goals have been the first in matches, with the England international also opening the scoring in Premier League games against Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur.
Now operating in a more advanced role, this penchant for fast starts could well see him strike first against Swansea, who Liverpool beat 4-3 at Anfield last term.
Rodgers has actually masterminded wins against his former club in three of the pair’s last four meetings, including a 2-1 victory in the Capital One Cup at home this season.
Something that will aid Sterling’s chances of securing the first goal further is Liverpool’s record of beating their opponents to the punch at Anfield.
In five of their last seven home league games, the Reds have scored first, with the other two matches ending goalless.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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