Europa League: Uruguay rising star Rolan in Reds’ Bordeaux battle
Cast your mind back some four-and-a-half years ago, and Liverpool purchased Uruguayan football’s next big thing in striker Luis Suarez from Ajax. Now, he’s an established star that has won every trophy going upon being sold to Barcelona last season.
That torch packed full of potential has been passed on to 22-year-old compatriot Diego Rolan, who is looking to make a name for himself against the Reds rather than for them. Coral offer odds of 11/4 for Rolan to net anytime, as Bordeaux host Brendan Rodgers’ boys in their Europa League Group B opener.
In Liverpool’s 2006/07 Champions League campaign, they beat Les Girondins home and away during the group stage, and they are narrow 8/5 favourites to keep up their 100 per cent record against the Ligue 1 outfit despite Rodgers leaving key players behind.
Major summer signing Christian Benteke joins fellow new arrivals Nathaniel Clyne and James Milner, plus defensive trio Lucas Leiva, Dejan Lovren and Martin Skrtel in not travelling across the Channel.
Bordeaux are coached by former France full back Willy Sagnol, best known for his near decade-long service to Bayern Munich. He is 9/5 to outfox Rodgers and take three home points, while a draw by the banks of the Garonne is an 11/5 shout.
Prized asset Rolan has been used sparingly this season, but should be involved in some capacity, and thus also appeals to score last at an awesome 8/1.
Other attacking threats from Les Girondins come in the form of Senegal striker Cheick Diabate and Sweden prospect Isaac Thelin, who is a superb 7/2 in the anytime market.
At least the Reds have Philippe Coutinho available, because his domestic ban does not apply in Europe, so Rodgers is likely to give the Brazil playmaker game time alongside compatriot Roberto Firmino.
Clever Coutinho has already inspired Liverpool this term, and a enhanced matchday special wincast of 6/1 featuring him certainly appeals. Punters may stake up a maximum of £20 on this boosted price bet.
With this Bordeaux battle coming too soon for Reds striker Daniel Sturridge, former Lille frontman Divock Origi looks set for his first. Benteke’s fellow Belgium international is a 6/1 shot to score first, but has never netted in five career appearances against this opposition.
Liverpool’s previous skirmishes with fellow port city Bordeaux were wins to nil, but a weakened defence rules out the prospect of this occurring again. There is much more to like about backing the Reds for victory but both teams scoring at an enhanced 5/1 (max stake £20).
Coral’s top tip: Rapid Rolan’s running is going to cause an understrength Anfield outfit issues, so those anytime odds of 11/4 are well worth a look.