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Premier League

  • 31 March 2013
  • • 13:30
  • • Villa Park, Birmingham
  • Referee: L. Mason
  • • Attendance: 42037
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Aston Villa - Liverpool Preview: Lambert's men target three straight wins

Paul Lambert’s side will be keen for three points to boost their hopes of avoiding relegation, while Brendan Rodgers’ men remain in the hunt for a European place

  PROBABLE LINEUPS

ASTON VILLA

Guzan
Lowton, Vlaar, Clark, Baker
Westwood, Bannan, N’Zogbia
Agbonlahor, Benteke, Weimann

LIVERPOOL

Reina
Johnson, Agger, Skrtel, Enrique
Lucas, Gerrard
Coutinho, Suarez, Downing
Sturridge


Darren Bent could make his return after overcoming a foot injury scare, while Charles N’Zogbia may come into the starting line-up ahead of Yacouba Sylla. Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert faces no new injury worries.

Pacy attacking trio Gabriel Agbonlahor, Andreas Weimann and Christian Benteke are poised to start in a forward.

Brendan Rodgers will have first-choice goalkeeper Pepe Reina back in goal after the Spaniard recovered from a calf injury. Jamie Carragher is pushing for a starting berth although he may have to settle for a place on the bench.

Joe Allen will miss the remainder of the season after undergoing shoulder surgery, while Martin Kelly (knee) and Fabio Borini (shoulder) are also out.

  DID YOU KNOW?

  • Villa have won their last two Premier League matches - a 2-1 win over Reading and a 3-2 victory against QPR. It’s the first time they have won back-to-back games this season.
  • Paul Lambert’s side have only scored 14 times in the league at home so far this season - only QPR (11) have fewer home goals.
  • Both sides have a player with the joint-most yellow cards in the league this season. Villa’s Matthew Lowton and Liverpool’s Luis Suarez have both received nine yellow cards - the same amount as Sunderland’s Craig Gardner.
  • The previous meeting between the two sides finished in a 3-1 Villa win. A brace from Christian Benteke and a goal from Andreas Weimann put the visitors into a three goal lead before a late strike from Steven Gerrard.
  • Suarez (pictured right), is the current top scorer in the league with 22 goals. He’s three ahead of Manchester United striker Robin van Persie.
  • Liverpool are the third-highest scorers in the league so far this season with 57 goals. Manchester United (69) and Chelsea (58) have netted more.

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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
1Bradley GuzanGoalkeeper
4Ron VlaarDefender
3Joseph BennettDefender
2Nathan BakerDefender
34Matthew LowtonDefender
15Ashley WestwoodMidfielder
18Yacouba SyllaMidfielder
46Barry BannanMidfielder
11Gabriel AgbonlahorStriker
20C. BentekeStriker
10Andreas WeimannStriker
31Shay GivenGoalkeeper
43Eric LichajDefender
8Karim El AhmadiMidfielder
-Charles N'ZogbiaMidfielder
16Fabian DelphMidfielder
21Jordan Nathaniel BoweryStriker
-Simon DawkinsStriker
25Pepe ReinaGoalkeeper
2Glen JohnsonDefender
3José EnriqueDefender
5Daniel AggerDefender
23Jamie CarragherDefender
8Steven GerrardMidfielder
10CoutinhoMidfielder
14Jordan HendersonMidfielder
19Stewart DowningMidfielder
21Lucas LeivaMidfielder
7Luis SuárezStriker
1Bradley JonesGoalkeeper
19Sebastián CoatesDefender
37Martin SkrtelDefender
30SusoMidfielder
31Raheem SterlingMidfielder
8Jonjo ShelveyMidfielder
15Daniel SturridgeStriker
Players to Watch
C. Benteke
C. Benteke
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 20
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
The Belgium international has been one of the top performers in the league since arriving last summer. The powerful forward is excellent in the air and has shown solid composure in front of goal. Benteke netted twice against Liverpool earlier in the season and he will be hoping to get himself onto the score sheet once again and help his side to three crucial points.
Daniel Sturridge
Daniel Sturridge
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 15
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
The ex-Chelsea forward has impressed since joining Liverpool in January having scored five goals in nine games along with providing one assist. The 22-year-old possesses plenty of talent and his partnership with Luis Suarez could be important to the club finishing the season on a high. With fellow January arrival Philippe Coutinho also shining, the club currently have an exciting front three.
Prediction
The hosts will be desperate to take all three points once again against Liverpool after their win at Anfield earlier this season. However, Liverpool can be excellent going forward and their attacking options may well just see them edge a high-scoring match.
Editor's Prediction

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