Amidst all the speculation about Gerrard wanting to leave the club and the pundits who are not very happy with the new ‘tinker man’, Benitez will be looking to prove everyone wrong. Bordeaux travel to Anfield in order to avenge their 0-1 defeat against Liverpool in the previous fixture. The staggering statistic for the match will be that, Rafael Benitez would have changed his line-up for 100 consecutive matches if he makes any change to the team which played at the weekend, which clearly shows he still does not know his best combination.
Steven Gerrard is not 100% fit, and has niggling ankle injury, but is expected to take part in the match. Craig Bellamy and Aurelio are major doubts for Benitez and are not likely to take part in the fixture. On the other hand for Bordeux, Franck Jurietti and Stephane Dalmat are ruled out with injury worries and are expected to be out for atleast a couple of weeks. Former Liverpool man, Vladimir Smicer could play and make his first appearance at Anfield after leaving the club a couple of seasons ago. He is although not expected to start, but could feature from the subs bench. If the results go right for Liverpool and they win with the other match going accordingly they could be through to the knock out stages with 2 games to spare. This will give Benitez more games to field his youngsters and find his best starting eleven.
The odds are staked heavily in the favor of the Reds, but with Liverpool almost through to the next round Benitez will make the changes and is unlikely to feature his best team against Bordeaux. Although I expect Liverpool to win, but only with a single goal margin. An Asian Handicap on Bordeaux (+1, +1.5) at 1.8 looks a decent bet. If you think Liverpool will take it easily then you can also look at a Liverpool clean sheet at 1.83.