Saturday afternoon (3:00PM UK) at Anfield, all eyes will be on the visitors’ sideline, as Liverpool icon Steven Gerrard returns with the his rejuvenated Aston Villa side. Unfortunately for Gerrard and the Villans, the Reds will be up for this one.
How to live stream Liverpool vs Aston Villa or watch on TV:
- UK: Not televised
- US: FuboTV
Liverpool team news
A nine-day stretch at the end of October and early November that included a home draw with Brighton and a 3-2 defeat away to West Ham notwithstanding (with a comfortable 2-0 victory over Atlético Madrid sandwiched in between), Liverpool have been imperious at every turn this season.
Since that 7 November loss to West Ham on – their lone league defeat in any competition this season – Liverpool have responded with four consecutive league victories by combined 13-1 score, while still finding the energy to dispatch with both Porto and AC Milan to become the first English club to secure a perfect record in the Champions League group stage.
Despite all of that, despite scoring 44 times in 15 Premier League games – including at least three on nine occasions, and four in each of the past two at home – Liverpool trail Premier League leaders Man City (who host Wolves earlier in the day) by a single point, and will be desperate to keep pace or, ideally, assume the top spot. Of course, the Reds themselves lead third-place Chelsea (who host Leeds, also at 3:00) by the same one-point margin, and will be eager to maintain that advantage.
Liverpool are facing some nagging injury concerns, as they will be without Roberto Firmino, Harvey Elliott and Curtis Jones, with Diogo Jota also a doubt after missing training this week. On the bright side, despite himself missing training on Thursday, Divock Origi is expected to be back and available for the match.
A number of vital starts – Virgil van Dijk, Fabinho, Jordan Henderson, Andrew Robertson, Joël Matip; Trent Alexander-Arnold – will be back in the lineup after a midweek rest. And, of course, still in the lineup is Mohamed Salah, who struck at midweek against Milan for his 20th goals this season across all competitions – and avoided just his second multi-game scoring drought of the season. The unstoppable Salah will be joined in attack by Sadio Mané and, should Jota miss out, likely Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, as Klopp may want to bring Origi along slowly.
Liverpool predicted XI: Alisson; Fabinho; Virgil van Dijk; Thiago Alcántara; Sadio Mané; Mohamed Salah; Jordan Henderson; Andrew Robertson; Joël Matip; Trent Alexander-Arnold; Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain*
Aston Villa team news
From the moment Steven Gerrard was announced as Villa’s new boss, all eyes were squarely on this fixture. Against Liverpool, for whom he took the pitch an incredible 710 times over 17 years, at Anfield. Fortunately for neutrals and fans of narrative, the wait’s not be a long one.
It’s worth noting that Gerrard’s impact on this squad has been immediate and quite profound. Prior to the managerial change, Villa had dropped five straight in the league, and had just 10 points from 11 games. In the four games since, Villa have nearly double their points total with victories over Brighton, Crystal Palace and Leicester, the only blemish a competitive 2-1 home defeat at the hands of league-leading Manchester City.
Villa will still be without Leon Bailey and Bertrand Traore, though Gerrard isn’t expected to make many changes to the lineup that notched an impressive win over Leicester last weekend, though he may have the services of another former Red at his disposal, with Danny Ings expected to be available for the first time in three weeks.
Aston Villa predicted XI: Emiliano Martínez; Matty Cash; Ezri Konsa; Tyrone Mings; Douglas Luiz; John McGinn; Emi Buendía; Ollie Watkins; Ashley Young; Marvelous Nakamba; Jacob Ramsey
Premier League 2021/22 recent form:
- Liverpool: LWWWW
- Aston Villa: LWWLW
Scoreline prediction: Liverpool 3-1 Aston Villa
There will undoubtedly be a feel-good factor at Anfield when Steven Gerrard emerges from the tunnel. This, along with the change in the tone of Villa’s performances since Gerrard took over, will no doubt inspire Villa to play the Reds tough, as they done in recent meeting – who can forget last season’s drubbing 7-2 in the Premier League.
However, against a team that is as loaded, motivated and in form as this Liverpool side is, there’s only so much that can be done. Villa may keep things competitive early, but as the game progresses, look for Liverpool’s quality to show.
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