Aston Villa vs Liverpool Preview: Team News, Likely Line-Ups & Predicted Score
Liverpool take on Aston Villa at Villa Park on Saturday evening looking to continue their positive start to the new Premier League season. Here’s a preview.
Liverpool take on Aston Villa at Villa Park on Saturday evening looking to continue their positive start to the new Premier League season.
The Reds put in a decent display on the opening weekend but could only manage a 1-0 win over Stoke City despite dominating much of the play, and they had summer signing Simon Mignolet to thank after his late penalty save secured the three points.
Daniel Sturridge proved to be the match-winner with his well taken strike just before half time turning out to be the winner, and the young striker will once again lead the line in the absence of Luis Suarez.
Brendan Rodgers is desperate for Liverpool to put in a sustained push for a top four finish this season and he’ll know a positive result at sides like Aston Villa is important in fulfilling that ambition.
Paul Lambert’s men will be tough opposition though with his young Villa team looking a completely different side to the one that narrowly avoided relegation last season.
The Midlanders shocked Arsenal with a 3-1 win at the Emirates on the opening weekend and they followed that up with another excellent display at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday, where they left feeling aggrieved they didn’t take a share of the spoils with several contentious decisions going against them in a 2-1 defeat.
Christian Benteke has carried on where he left off and has three goals to his name already this season, so he’ll certainly be the one to watch for the Reds on Saturday.
Aston Villa are hoping to have defender Ciaran Clark fit after he was forced off against Chelsea with a head injury. Clarke is already standing in for Nathan Baker – who picked up and ankle injury against Arsenal – so Lambert will be hoping to have him available on Saturday.
Chris Herd is back in contention after recovering from a calf problem, but he’s only expected to make the bench. Winger Charles N’Zogbia is definitely out with an Achilles injury.
Liverpool will once again have to make do without star striker Luis Suarez who continues to serve his 10-match ban. Defender Sebastian Coates has been ruled out for the majority of the season with a knee injury that he picked up while on international duty with Uruguay.
New signing Aly Cissokho is expected to be names in the squad but it’s unclear if he’ll make his debut or be among the subs. Otherwise, Brendan Rodgers has no fresh injury concerns and will most likely stick with the side that beat Stoke.
Aston Villa 1-1 Liverpool: Villa Park has been a happy hunting ground for Liverpool of late, losing just once in their past 15 visits, and while I think that trend will continue, Villa will take a share of the points this weekend.
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