Aston Villa v Liverpool Cheat Sheet
Aston Villa v Liverpool
Aston Villa sacked Steven Gerrard after a string of poor results saw them languishing near the relegation zone. Unai Emery left his post at Villarreal to take charge in the Midlands. He has won both of his league games in charge against sides who are in the top 7. The Villains have now climbed to 12th and will be looking to continue their charge up the table.
Liverpool rose to 6th place in the table by winning their last 2 league games and they have improved massively since the start of the season. Klopp will be prepared for a fight to make it into the top 4 with a title challenge unlikely. Emery is an astute tactician and you rarely see his teams rolled over. Villa will be very well organised and have more than enough quality to pose a threat. They were narrowly beaten by Liverpool at Villa Park last season and I’m expecting the same again on Boxing Day.
It should be an entertaining clash with chances at both ends. Van Dijk is expected to return to the Liverpool starting 11 after missing the League Cup match against Man City. He will provide more defensive stability which could make all the difference.
Aston Villa have played 3 competitive matches under Unai Emery. They have won 2 of those matches and both teams have scored in all of them. Villa have scored 2 or more in Emery’s competitive matches. Villa have scored in their last 5 meetings with Liverpool at Villa Park. This includes the 7-2 victory in the league and the 5-0 victory against a severely weakened Liverpool side in the league cup.
Liverpool have endured a tough start to the season but there were signs that their fortunes were changing before the World Cup. They beat Tottenham and Southampton in their last two league matches; scoring 5 goals in the process. Klopp’s side will fancy themselves to find the net on Boxing Day and need all 3 points to close the gap on the top 4.
The Villains have played four friendlies since their last competitive match. They should be able to hit the ground running when the league restarts. The break has given Emery the opportunity to review much of his squad.
Liverpool have won just 1 of their 5 away matches in the league so far this season. Their only win was 2-1 victory over Tottenham so this handicap would have landed in all of their away games so far this season.
Liverpool have only won 2 of their 14 league matches this season by a margin of 2 goals or more. The 9-0 win over Bournemouth and a 3-1 win over Southampton; both of these games were at Anfield. In the league, Liverpool are averaging 2 goals per game. Their opponents are averaging 1.21 goals per game.
Despite the poor form that led to Steven Gerrard being sacked, Villa have done reasonably well at home this season. They have won 4 of their 7 matches and lost just 2. The only team to go to Villa Park and win by a margin of two goals or more is Chelsea. This bet has also landed in the last 3 league meetings between these sides in the Midlands.
Tyrone Mings has been booked in 3 of Aston Villa’s last 5 Premier League matches. He will most likely be engaged in a physical duel with Darwin Nunez when his side take on Liverpool. The Uruguayan is a fiery character and is a big presence in the opposition box. The opposition starting centre-backs have combined for 10 fouls in the last 3 matches he has started (Southampton and Tottenham played with 3 centre-backs).
Mings is averaging 0.8 fouls per game this season and has shown he is willing to get stuck in.
Nunez hasn’t had the best start to life at Liverpool. He has drawn criticism for squandering good chances and that continued in the League Cup against Man City. He had 2 golden opportunities to score and missed both.
Despite the criticism, he has managed to find the net 5 times in the Premier League and has only started 7 matches. Nunez scored 26 league goals for Benfica last season and 6 Champions League goals. I’m backing him to take a chance that falls his way on Boxing Day. Liverpool look much better than they did at the start of the season and they should create a few opportunities for Nunez here.
Written by an Andy verified content writer
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