Fast start can secure Reds win
Ian Brindle is backing Liverpool to maintain their perfect start to the Premier League season when they face Swansea tonight.
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Brendan Rodgers is no stranger to the Liberty Stadium having enjoyed a lucrative spell in the charge of the Swans and his last act was to inflict a 1-0 defeat on his new employers on the final day of the 2011/12 season.
There should be no grumbling on the terraces at Anfield at the present as the manager has steered the Reds to their best league start for 19 years, with the pinnacle being a 1-0 victory over Manchester United.
That said, Rodgers has admitted that there is much work to be done before his squad can challenge for major honours, and Liverpool were notably busy in the transfer window, signing Mamadou Sakho, Tiago Ilori and Victor Moses in addition to an earlier wave of acquisitions that included Iago Aspas, Kolo Toure and Simon Mignolet.
Swansea finished last season with silverware although their league form suffered at the tail end of the campaign as they were left in the position of not having a great deal to play for once they had won the League Cup, having already secured a second season at the top table.
David Moyes ensured that they were given a rude awakening to the 2013/14 season as Manchester United subjected them to a 4-1 home defeat, but that scoreline really doesn't tell the full story as the home side enjoyed the lion's share of possession and filed 15 shots to the visitors' 13.
They realised similar possession against Tottenham Hotspur but posted just five shots at White Hart Lane; so a 2-0 victory on the road to West Brom will have been much coveted by Michael Laudrup, and he'll be keen to get something out of this game before a trip to Valencia in the Europa League on Thursday.
Having paid £12m for Wilfrid Bony and seen an immediate return upon investment, Laudrup returned to Spain to acquire Alvaro on loan from his former club, Getafe.
The manager suggested that he can bring a different attacking option to his squad and given how successful Michu was last season, the young man has a lot to live up to.
Jonjo Shelvey may feel he has something to prove against his former team and the midfielder will have a key role in the passing style that Laudrup has instilled at the club. The 21-year-old was always going to struggle to break into an established set-up at Anfield, but he is capable of pushing forward and creating a supply chain to the strikers.
Liverpool will be waiting upon Daniel Sturridge's presence after a thigh injury ruled him out of England's World Cup qualifiers, but they will definitely be without right-back Glen Johnson who is likely to be absent for a month.
Recent matches between the two clubs have been notably low scoring affairs and it's no surprise that's been the case as Swansea's home record saw them draw eight times (a figure they shared with Sunderland, Reading and QPR) but I, along with the majority of Sky Sports viewers, will be hoping that this will not be the case on Monday.
The men in red made a habit of getting something on their travels last term and their final league position owed much to the 28 points that they secured with seven obtained through draws.
Nevertheless, if they are to be making the leap into European football these are the games they need to be winning and with Luis Suarez' domestic ban drawing to a close there is likely to be plenty of playing for places in the starting line-up.
With that in mind I expect them to have too much quality for Swansea, but rather than take 5/4 about an away win I'll back Liverpool to be winning at half-time and full-time.
The Reds have scored in the fourth minute in each of their last two games and have led at the break on the way to all three of their wins in the Premier League so far.
For those expecting Daniel Sturridge to score first in a 1-0 Liverpool win - the result in each of those Premier League victories - prices around the 35/1 mark are available though, at the time of writing, he's not a certain starter.
Verdict: Swansea 1 Liverpool 2
Swansea City have won none and lost four of their last six Barclays Premier League home games.
Liverpool have won their first three games of a top-flight season whilst keeping a clean sheet in each game, for the first time in their history.
Daniel Sturridge has scored 11 goals in his last nine appearances in all competitions for Liverpool.