Liverpool entertain Aston Villa at Anfield confident that they are adapting to Brendan Rodgers’ philosophies.
Liverpool have shown some real progress in recent weeks, and their efforts in beating West Ham away from home in their last Premier League match were significant for two reasons.
The first is that they did so without Luis Suarez, who was suspended, and the second is that they managed to score three goals without him.
Aston Villa have struggled this season, and whilst many fans will feel Paul Lambert deserves time as a) he has built a very young side, and b) anything is better than Alex McLeish, questions will soon start to be asked if they drop any closer to the relegation zone.
Venue Anfield, Saturday 3pm
Last season Liverpool 1 Aston Villa 1
Referee Neil Swarbrick
This season’s matches 6 Y20, R0, 3.33 cards per game
Odds Liverpool 4-11 Aston Villa 8-1 Draw 7-2
Subs from Jones, Gulacsi, Shelvey, Cole, Carragher, Coates, Sahin, Henderson, Assaidi, Morgan, Robinson, Yesil, Pacheco
Doubtful José Enrique (hamstring)
Injured Borini (foot, Jan), Kelly (knee, Mar)
Form guide WWLDWD
Disciplinary record Y23 R2
Leading scorer Suárez 10
Subs from Given, Ireland, El Ahmadi, N’Zogbia, Albrighton, Delph, Bowery, Bannan, Weimann, Lichaj, Marshall, Burke, Williams, Carruthers
Doubtful Bennett (knee), Stevens (ankle)
Injured Bent (hamstring, unknown), Vlaar (calf, 23 Dec), Dunne (groin, unknown), Gardner (knee, unknown)
Form guide DDWDLL
Disciplinary record Y29 R2
Leading scorer Benteke 3
Villa have won one of their last 10 Premier League trips to Anfield (W1, D3, L6) – a 3-1 victory in September 2009.
That victory was one of only two wins Villa have achieved over Liverpool in their last 21 Premier League meetings (W2, D7, L12) – the other was a 1-0 triumph in May 2011.
Liverpool have beaten Villa 21 times in the Premier League – their joint-most wins over a single club in the division, along with Newcastle United.
Liverpool have lost just one of their last 11 Premier League games (W5, D5, L1).
Victory against West Ham gave them back-to-back Premier League wins for the first time since December 2011 – they have not won three in succession since April-May 2011.
The Reds have scored four more goals (13) away from Anfield in the Premier League this season than they have at home (9).
They have kept four clean sheets in their last five Premier League home games.
Brendan Rodgers’s side have benefited from four own goals in the Premier League this season, more than any other side.
Only Luis Suarez (10) has provided more goals for them.
Aston Villa are unbeaten in four Premier League games (W1, D3).
They have scored the fewest goals of any team in the Premier League this season (12).
Paul Lambert’s side have kept three clean sheets in their last four league games.
Christian Benteke has scored three Premier League goals but is yet to claim one away from home.
Villa have used 26 players in the top flight this season – the equal-most alongside Tottenham.
SOURCE: BBC Sport
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