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Aston Villa vs Liverpool Preview, Team News, Likely Line-ups & Predicted Score
Premier League action returns this weekend after the two week international break and Liverpool travel to the Midlands to take on relegation-threatened Aston Villa at Villa Park on Sunday lunchtime.
Liverpool head into the game with very little left to play for other than securing a place in the Europa League and trying to finish above rivals Everton in the table.
The Reds saw their slim hopes of finishing in the top-four all but ended with defeat to Southampton last time out and they now sit seventh in the table – a full 10-points off fourth-placed Chelsea.
Villa on the other hand are desperate for points as they fight for their lives at the wrong end of the table. Paul Lambert’s team dropped in to the bottom three after Wigan beat Norwich on Saturday so the Scot will be keen for a positive result this weekend.
The Villains ran out 3-1 winners at Anfield in the reverse fixture back in December and victory over Liverpool again this Sunday will see them pull clear of the drop zone and up to 16th.
Aston Villa is likely to welcome back Darren Bent, Nathan Baker and Karim El Ahmadi who have all recovered from injuries. Midfielder Fabian Delph is also available again after completing a two-game suspension but may have to make do with a place on the bench.
Ciaran Clark picked up a shoulder injury during the international break but is expected to be passed fit while Brett Holman is a doubt with a hamstring problem.
Liverpool have no fresh injury worries to worry about and Rodgers is able to call upon the services of defender Jamie Carragher after he returned to full training last week.
Goalkeeper Pepe Reina is also available and should return to the starting eleven with Brad Jones dropping back to the bench. Midfielder Joe Allen is out for the rest of the season after having surgery on a shoulder injury and he joins Martin Kelly and Fabio Borini on the sidelines.
Aston Villa have a decent recent record against Liverpool, losing just one of their last four against the Merseysiders, while Paul Lambert seems to have Brendan Rodgers’ number after winning all three of their previous meetings against each other. However, I can see the visitors taking something from this game. Aston Villa 1-1 Liverpool
What would be your starting eleven and what’s your predicted score for the game? Get involved in the comments section below.