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December 15, 2012 3:00 PM GMT
Anfield — Liverpool
Referee:‬ N. Swarbrick‎
Attendance:‬ 44607‎
C. Benteke 29′
C. Benteke 51′

Liverpool - Aston Villa Preview: Suarez returns as Reds look for third win on the trot

Two managers who exceeded expectations at newly-promoted clubs last season come face to face in charge of their new sides, with both in need of a win after disappointing starts

By Alex Young


Johnson, Skrtel, Agger, Downing
Sterling, Shelvey, Lucas, Suso
  Aston Villa
Lowton, Baker, Lichaj, Clark
Agbonlahor, Bannan, Westwood, Herd

Liverpool top goalscorer Luis Suarez is available after serving a one-match ban and missing last weekend's comeback victory at West Ham.

Jose Enrique (hamstring) was taken off midway through the first half of the 3-2 win, but manager Brendan Rodgers branded it only "a precaution". The left-back is considered a doubt so Stewart Downing's continuing presence in the position is more likely.

Nuri Sahin (face) missed the win on Sunday and is also in line for a return after being withdrawn during the win over Udinese. Elsewhere, Martin Kelly (knee) and Fabio Borini (foot) are long-term absentees.

Paul Lambert has a long injury list, but Joe Bennett (knee), who missed Tuesday's Capital One Cup win over Norwich City could return. Captain Ron Vlaar (calf) and Enda Stevens (ankle) have not featured for three weeks so are unlikely to start.

Darren Bent (hamstring) was forced off in the win at Carrow Road in midweek with Lambert admitting he expects the striker to miss the next four weeks.

Long-term absentees Richard Dunne (groin) and Gary Gardner (knee) remain out for the foreseeable future.

  • Liverpool are undefeated in 20 of their last 22 matches against Aston Villa in all competitions.
  • The Reds' win at West Ham last week sealed back-to-back league victories for the first time since December 2011.
  • Aston Villa have failed to win 15 of their last 16 away matches in the Premier League.
  • Stewart Downing's (pictured right) last Premier League goal was for Aston Villa against Liverpool.
  • No team has scored fewer goals in the opening 15 minutes than Villa this season.
  • All three of top goalscorer Christian Benteke's Premier League goals have come at Villa Park.

Field Report
Reader's Predictions
Top 3 Predictions
Head to Head
England - Premier League ‎(EPL)‎ Jan 18, 2014 Liverpool 2 - Aston Villa 2
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  • Match Report
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England - Premier League ‎(EPL)‎ Aug 24, 2013 Aston Villa 0 - Liverpool 1
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England - Premier League ‎(EPL)‎ Mar 31, 2013 Aston Villa 1 - Liverpool 2
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England - Premier League ‎(EPL)‎ Dec 15, 2012 Liverpool 1 - Aston Villa 3
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England - Premier League ‎(EPL)‎ Apr 7, 2012 Liverpool 1 - Aston Villa 1
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Last Five Matches
Team News
Available Squads
25Pepe ReinaGoalkeeper
2Glen JohnsonDefender
5Daniel AggerDefender
37Martin SkrtelDefender
8Steven GerrardMidfielder
19Stewart DowningMidfielder
21Lucas LeivaMidfielder
24Joe AllenMidfielder
31Raheem SterlingMidfielder
8Jonjo ShelveyMidfielder
7Luis SuárezStriker
1Bradley JonesGoalkeeper
19Sebastián CoatesDefender
23Jamie CarragherDefender
47Andre Wisdom Defender
26Joe ColeMidfielder
14Jordan HendersonMidfielder
1Bradley GuzanGoalkeeper
6Ciaran ClarkDefender
43Eric LichajDefender
2Nathan BakerDefender
34Matthew LowtonDefender
14Brett HolmanMidfielder
15Ashley WestwoodMidfielder
46Barry BannanMidfielder
17Chris HerdMidfielder
20C. BentekeStriker
10Andreas WeimannStriker
31Shay GivenGoalkeeper
3Joseph BennettDefender
8Karim El AhmadiMidfielder
-Charles N'ZogbiaMidfielder
12Marc AlbrightonMidfielder
16Fabian DelphMidfielder
21Jordan Nathaniel BoweryStriker
Players to Watch
Glen Johnson
Glen Johnson
Position: Defender
Squad Number: 2
Games Goals YC RC
26 0 3 0
The right-back has been one of Liverpool's most consistent performers this term and grabbed his first goal of the season in the 3-2 win over West Ham last time out. Johnson has been able to impress despite a regularly changing right-wing partner and will likely be at his best again against Aston Villa's inexperienced charges.
The comeback win against West Ham was the latest in a string of ever-improving performances by Liverpool. It appears Brendan Rodgers' ideals are slowly implementing themselves on the team. The Reds have won their last three on the trot in all competitions but Aston Villa are unbeaten in five, including an impressive away display over Norwich City in the Capital One Cup. However, Liverpool at home will be too strong for Paul Lambert's charges, especially with the returning Luis Suarez.
Editor's Prediction
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Luis Suárez Luis Suárez
30 0
Daniel Sturridge Daniel Sturridge
20 0
Yaya Touré Yaya Touré
Manchester City
18 6
Wayne Rooney Wayne Rooney
Man Utd.
15 2
Sergio Agüero Sergio Agüero
Manchester City
15 0