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Liverpool v Aston Villa – Preview, Predictions, and Best Bets

Liverpool host Aston Villa at Anfield on Saturday afternoon.

Liverpool v Aston Villa

Liverpool host Aston Villa at Anfield on Saturday afternoon. The Reds have won seven straight league matches, closing the gap to the top four to one point. Aston Villa sit just a point off sixth place as they chase a place in European football for next season. The reverse fixture ended 3-1 to Liverpool on Boxing Day.

Liverpool Form

Jurgen Klopp has his side back to their best results. They’ve won seven matches in a row and suddenly a top four place is possible again. After a five-match winless run (LLLDD), they smashed Leeds 6-1 at Elland Road. The next five matches saw one-goal victories including 3-2 at home to Nottingham Forest and 4-3 vs Tottenham as a 3-0 Reds lead turned into 3-3 before the late winner.

After a 1-0 win against Fulham, a third successive victory at Anfield followed against Brentford. It was a convincing result with a 2.04 Expected Goals difference. Last time out, they cruised 3-0 past Leicester as Curtis Jones netted a brace. They produced 2.15 xG and allowed the Foxes just four shots in 90 minutes.

Liverpool Team News

Liverpool are without three options in midfield with Naby Keita, Stefan Bajcetic and Thiago Alcantara all absent. Curtis Jones is excelling and will play alongside Jordan Henderson as one of the two number eights.

Roberto Firmino could miss out again but he should return before the end of the season. Darwin Nunez is also a doubt with a toe injury and he isn’t expected to start anyway. Cody Gakpo should lead the line with Luis Diaz preferred to Diogo Jota on the left.  

Liverpool Motivation

Anything less than a win may end their top four hopes. Liverpool will go all out for three points and could add a fourth attacker if chasing the match.

Confidence is high, the XI is pretty settled and there are some new patterns of play emerging. They won’t be bothered if they score and absorb some pressure to win 1-0 as they’ve done in their last two at home.

Aston Villa Form

Villa have had a great season since appointing Unai Emery in early November. He has overseen 23 league matches with 14 victories. For the two months from late February to late April, they put up an incredible run: eight wins and two draws from ten matches. After a superb 3-0 home thrashing of Newcastle, they scored late to draw 1-1 at Brentford.

A 1-0 home win against Fulham saw them allow just one shot all match. Narrow 1-0 losses followed at Man Utd and Wolves, but they performed well in both fixtures and could have drawn those matches. Last weekend, they beat Tottenham 2-0 at home. They did not allow Spurs a first half shot in a very strong outing.

Aston Villa Team News

Unai Emery is without Philippe Coutinho for the rest of the season. Callum Chambers should return to the bench after an illness. It’s expected to be the same XI that beat Tottenham last weekend.

Boubacar Kamara is fit again but will feature from the bench. The same applies to right back Matty Cash. Emi Buendia will play in support of Ollie Watkins with Leon Bailey preferred down the right to Bertrand Traore.

Aston Villa Motivation

Villa are pushing for a top six finish and they will go to Anfield and play to win. They may be relatively cagey but they will use their aggressive offside trap and use fast transitions when they win the ball.

A draw would be a good result but they can’t afford to settle for one from the start. Emery’s side could have around 40% of the ball here and won’t be bothered about possession.

Key Stats

Liverpool have scored 45 goals in 18 home matches this season (EPL)

Liverpool’s Salah has 11 goals in his last 13 league matches

Liverpool have won 7 league matches in a row, scoring 20 goals (five wins by 1 goal margin)

Aston Villa have won 6 of their last 11 away matches (EPL)

Villa have lost their last 2 away matches to nil

Villa have lost their last 4 league matches at Anfield


This looks set to be a hard-fought match with a close scoreline. Villa are capable of taking something but I am backing Liverpool to expose their high offside line. A win to nil could be a good bet, as could Salah scoring once again. A win for the Reds by exactly one goal looks like good value.

Best Bet: Liverpool win to zero at 2.85
Alternative Bet: Liverpool to win and Salah to score anytime at 2.62
High Value Bet: Liverpool to win by exactly 1 goal at 3.75

James is a football analyst who writes about the tactics of the PSL and English Premier League. He holds the UEFA A coaching licence and has previously worked for several clubs in analysis roles.Twitter:

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