Betting: Weight of expectation at Anfield could benefit Norwich City
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Anfield's aura of invincibility has long since evaporated. Gone are the days when teams would travel to Merseyside intent on keeping their margin of defeat respectable and found themselves cowed by a combination of the Kop and that famous 'This is Anfield' sign in the tunnel.
Furthermore, there's little indication that Liverpool are undergoing a rapid transformation likely to re-establish them as England's greatest side, a fact punters should bear in mind when they see Norwich City quoted at an unbelievably long 10/1 (BetVictor.com) to secure three points tomorrow.
Admittedly, Liverpool beat the Canaries 5-2 when the sides met at Carrow Road in September – incredibly, that was the Reds' first league win of the season – but remember, Norwich drew 1-1 at Anfield last term and could even have won the match in the end.
Only five points separate the pair, yet Liverpool kick off as William Hill's 1/3 favourites and Skybet post an enormous 9/2 about the draw; bet365 chalk 13/2 against it finishing 1-1 again.
The stalemate has attracted steady support from punters who recognise that Liverpool have struggled at Anfield in recent years, often hamstrung, it seems, by an incredible weight of expectation. Moreover, although the Canaries have won only once on the road this term, they've drawn on five occasions, a record which boosts the appeal of Stan James' 8/1 for both halves to finish on level terms – backers may feel it does the same for BetVictor's 13/2 odds posted in favour of it finishing as a score-draw.
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Thankfully for punters, a sizeable proportion of bookmakers' odds fail to reflect Premier League reality – Liverpool are a work in progress, not the finished article.
Nevertheless, Paddy Power quote Norwich at 5/6 to win when kicking off with a two-goal start. The same firm prices City at 9/4 to emerge victorious when given a one-goal advantage.
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In other markets, Ladbrokes post a generous-looking 10/11 about both teams scoring, although Skybet's massive 18/1 price for the game to end goalless has, not surprisingly, attracted steady support.
Meanwhile, punters who fancy Norwich could record their second away win of the campaign and inflict an unexpected home defeat on their hosts can get an incredible 33/1 (BetVictor.com) against Chris Hughton's men winning 1-0.