Premier League champions Liverpool return to action this weekend as they face strugglers Aston Villa at Anfield.
The league champions head into the game fresh from an embarrassing 4-nil drubbing at the hands of defending champions Man City in their last outing. The Reds, who still have a host of records to break, will be looking to remind the league how they became champions with a positive result from this game.
Aston Villa meanwhile head into the game without a win in eight league games. They still have an outside chance of beating the drop this season as every other team around them are not making the task difficult. Dean Smith will fancy his chances against Jurgen Klopp’s exhausted champions.
Jurgen Klopp may likely introduce fresh legs to the midfield and attack that drew blank against City in their last outing with either of Naby Keita nad Oxlade Chamberline expected to make the cut. Joel Matip meanwhile, has been confirmed will miss the rest of the season while Jams Milner and Xaqiri are both nearing full fitness.
Dean Smith has as many as six players on the treatment table with Tom Heaton, Henri Lansbury, Frederic Guilbert, Bjorn Engels, and striker Wesley Moraes, all missing with injuries.
Head to Head
The last five meetings between both sides in the league has seen Liverpool emerge winners on four occasions with Aston Villa winning the other fixture—although that was in 2014.
Liverpool last five competitive games: LWDLW
Aston Villa last five competitive games: LDLDL
Despite their most recent outing producing their biggest loss in over two years, Jurgen Klopp’s men remain a formidable side. With the league title already in the bag, they could be forgiven for putting up such a lacklustre performance.
But one will suspect that they will be out firing on all cylinders in this tie. The Reds have not lost two league matches in a row for over two seasons. They have lost just four times in the league since the beginning of 2018 and have scored in all but three of their 32 league matches this season.
Since the restart, Aston Villa have not lost consecutive matches with two draws alternating two losses. However, the Villans have not faced top opponents in two straight games since the restart.
Their away form also leaves a lot to be desired as they have gone five games without a win on their road trips.
Dean Smith’s side performed admirably well against Liverpool in the reverse fixture but were undone by two goals in the last six minutes of the game. Their second-half record for the season remain one of the worst in the league this season. In fact, no team has conceded more than their 37 goals in the second half of games this season.
They enter this game as outsiders and stand no particular chance of taking a win here. The best they will hope is to avoid a mulling in the hands of the wounded champions.
Liverpool to win both half @ 19/20
Over 2.5 Goals @ 1/2
Both Teams to Score/No @ 11/10