Liverpool - Aston Villa Preview: Hosts out to improve after losing six of their last seven Premier League matches
Kenny Dalglish’s team are in danger of dropping out of the top 10 following a poor run of results and need a win against a Midlands outfit eager to avoid a relegation scrap
By Shane Farrington
Flanagan, Carragher, Skrtel, Enrique
Henderson, Gerrard, Downing
Kuyt, Carroll, Suarez
Hutton, Lichaj, Collins, Warnock
Gardner, Ireland, Bannan
Albrighton, Heskey, Agbonlahor
Former Roma man Alexander Doni is likely to get the nod over Brad Jones in goal for the Reds with Jose Reina serving the first game of his three game ban following his dismissal against Newcastle United last weekend.
This is unlikely to be the last of the changes with Jonjo Shelvey and Jay Spearing likely to drop to the bench in favour of Jordan Henderson and Stewart Downing. Dirk Kuyt could also get a chance to impress in place of Craig Bellamy
Defenders Glen Johnson and Daniel Agger might make the bench with the possibility of starting their upcoming midweek Premier League match against Blackburn Rovers.
The visitors could make a couple of changes from the side that lost 4-2 at home to Chelsea. Marc Albrighton impressed coming off the bench and may well get a start. Emile Heskey could also get a start against his former club as Villa look for a more experience away from home.
Alan Hutton could recover from injury in time to start the match. Elsewhere a number of key players remain sidelined including Richard Dunne (fractured collarbone), Darren Bent (ankle ligaments) and Ciaran Clark (knee).
||DID YOU KNOW?|
- Liverpool have only managed to win just two of their last 11 Premier League matches: 3-0 wins against both Wolves and Everton.
- The Reds' top league goalscorer is their Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez, (pictured right), with seven goals. Suarez is 7/2 to be the first goalscorer with Paddy Power.
- Liverpool have struggled to win their home matches in the league so far this season, managing just five wins from 15 matches.
- Kenny Dalglish’s side took all three points from the reverse fixture earlier in the season. A goal apiece from Craig Bellamy and Martin Skrtel saw the Reds secure a 2-0 victory on December 18.
- Villa have only won once in their last nine visits to Anfield in the Premier League, a 3-1 win in the 2009/10 campaign. The Villans are 18/1 to win 1-0 with Bet365.
- Alex McLeish’s side have scored just four times in the last six league matches, the lowest of all the sides in the Premier League.
- The Villans have won just one of their last eight Premier League games, leaving them just five points above the relegation zone.
- Aston Villa's last away win came back in January 21st when they beat Wolves 3-2 at Molineux.
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Top 3 Predictions
Liverpool 2-0 Aston Villa
- 17.93 %
Liverpool 2-1 Aston Villa
- 12.53 %
Liverpool 3-0 Aston Villa
- 12.3 %
|England - Premier League (EPL)||Jan 18, 2014||Liverpool 2 - Aston Villa 2|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||Aug 24, 2013||Aston Villa 0 - Liverpool 1|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||Mar 31, 2013||Aston Villa 1 - Liverpool 2|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||Dec 15, 2012||Liverpool 1 - Aston Villa 3|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||Apr 7, 2012||Liverpool 1 - Aston Villa 1|
|Apr 20, 2014||Norwich City 2 - Liverpool 3||EPL|
|Apr 13, 2014||Liverpool 3 - Manchester City FC 2||EPL|
|Apr 6, 2014||West Ham 1 - Liverpool 2||EPL|
|Mar 30, 2014||Liverpool 4 - Tottenham 0||EPL|
|Mar 26, 2014||Liverpool 2 - Sunderland 1||EPL|
The South American has arguably been Liverpool’s best player in recent weeks. Equally adept at playing on his own up front as he is with as a second striker, he possesses the ability to create a chance out of nothing. At times his finishing can be a little erratic but a couple of goals could spark a flurry. Along with Jose Enrique, Suarez is probably the only signing to arrive at the club since Dalglish took over again who has performed consistently, and if he manages to get going Liverpool they could well still finish the season strongly.
The pacey forward has struggled to find the back of the net this season with just five goals from 26 Premier League starts; a player with his talent and ability probably should be closer to the double figure mark. This week saw him officially named as Villa’s new captain and he will be looking to help his side secure their top-flight status. Liverpool have struggled at the back in recent weeks and with Reina missing out through suspension a lively performance could cause the home side some problems.
A lot could depend on how Doni reacts in his league debut. The Reds have struggled to get wins at Anfield and Villa will be keen to get something from the game to avoid getting dragged into a relegation scrap. Liverpool lost their last home league game 2-1 to Wigan and could well end up dropping more points.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed