Football betting: Liverpool to get a fesative seaside tonic

I know I used the first few weeks of the domestic season to mock Blackpool and their gaffer, Ian Holloway, but it's definitely time to hold my hands up and say I got it wrong big time.

Holloway has inspired his previously-unconsidered troops to such a degree that following the surprise maximum haul at Stoke the Seasiders currently sit in the top half of the table with an astonishing 22 points already under their belt.

For the supporters the relative success is a bonus because in this particular instance the taking part in a top-flight campaign is the stuff of dreams anyway.

Let's face it, only a year or so ago there looked to be more chance of Christopher Biggins playing James Bond than there did of Blackpool playing Liverpool in the Premier League, yet they've been there, done it and courtesy of another Charlie Adam-inspired stellar performance they actually came away from Anfield in October having bought the winner's T-shirt.

As a result on Sunday the Reds will be out for revenge in the return fixture at Bloomfield Road and though they've hardly been pulling up any trees of late for several reasons the bookmakers' odds of 4/5 on them achieving it might just be worth taking.

Firstly, I mentioned Adam the firebrand ex-Rangers midfielder who is as big a heartbeat to his side as any single player in the division at the moment.

Well, he's missing because after five yellows he failed to serve his ban after Blackpool's home game with Spurs ended up a victim of the weather last weekend.

That means it's a rollover then – and to Liverpool it will feel like a winning lottery one when they head to the blackboards to dissect the 11 men that stand in their way on Boxing Day.

"Right Stevie, you and Lucas need to watch carefully now as we're going to see a couple of videos on destructive engine room duo David Vaughan and Matt Phillips."

Can you imagine Roy Hodgson nodding at his returning talismanic skipper and uttering those words? No me neither and you'd have to say that if ever there was a perfect game for Gerrard to come back from injury to play in, then this is it.

Certainly he's likely to dominate proceedings from start to finish, making hay for both himself and his colleagues prepared to gamble on ending up in dangerous positions.

So regularly that a decent result is almost guaranteed and boy do they need it with defender Paul Konchesky recently coming out and labelling the festive period a critical one.

For that he comes up on the rails at the last minute to take the "obvious statement of the year award", but in a way if the Reds do manage to string two or three victories together then at least they can afford to start focusing on catching more traditional rivals than

mixing with less familiar ones in mid-table.

And I'm prepared, even at 4/5, to bet that the recovery well and truly starts here.

Blackpool will still be unleashing attacks from all over the park and could grab a goal so a 3-1 scoreline is a fair price at 14/1 as a supplementary wager.

Something for the Weekend

3 homes: Cardiff, Reading & Huddersfield (7/2)

3 aways: Norwich, Brighton & Rotherham (10/1)

Steer clear of: Sheff Utd (6/5 at home to Hull)

? Odds supplied by Taylor's Bookmakers and Betfair Exchange, LS28 6PA and may vary. For Inquiries telephone 01132 568268 during office hours.

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