Saturday’s Premier League action pits high-flying Liverpool against Steven Gerrard as Aston Villa are due to arrive at Anfield.
Fresh from a come-from-behind 2-1 win at AC Milan in midweek Champions League action, the Reds will be looking to keep their run of fine form going.
Divock Origi’s last-gasp winner at Wolverhampton Wanderers last time out extended Liverpool’s winning streak in the Premier League to four matches, bringing them to the cusp of the summit.
Sat a single point adrift of pacesetters Manchester City, the Merseyside heavyweights are gunning for five top-flight victories on the trot for the first time this season.
But standing in Liverpool’s way will be the Anfield hero.
Gerrard has sparked a mini-revival at Villa since replacing the now ex-manager Dean Smith in the dugout in mid-November.
The former Rangers boss has navigated the Lions to three precious victories in four Premier League matches in charge (L1), reigniting the club’s hopes of battling for European promotion.
With Liverpool’s third-highest appearance maker of all time set to come home as an opponent, it will be an emotional rollercoaster at Anfield when ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ rings ahead of the kick-off.
Liverpool vs Aston Villa Head-to-Head
Although Liverpool came out 2-1 winners in this exact fixture back in April, the scars of an embarrassing 7-2 defeat at Villa Park in October 2020 are still embedded in the hearts of the Anfield faithful.
But that failure remains the Reds’ solitary reverse across their last seven Premier League encounters against Villa (W6), with the Merseysiders netting 2+ goals in all six wins in that sequence.
Since a run of four consecutive Premier League home H2Hs without winning (D2, L2), Liverpool have won their last three top-flight meetings with Villa at Anfield.
Liverpool go into proceedings amid a purple patch, having won their last six matches in all competitions by an aggregate score of 17-2 since a 3-2 away defeat at West Ham United in early November.
Jurgen Klopp knows in-depth about building a fortress, as the Reds enter this round as the only Premier League side yet to lose a home game this season (W4, D3).
Except for a 1-1 draw with Chelsea back in late August, they have scored 2+ goals in each of their remaining six top-flight home outings this term, averaging 2.83 per match.
Mohamed Salah, who delivered an assist for Origi at Molineux last time out, has now either scored or assisted in 13 consecutive Premier League appearances.
The Egyptian superstar is the only player in the Premier League to have smashed double digits ahead of this round, having tallied 13 goals and nine assists so far.
Aston Villa Preview
Villa have won three of their four Premier League fixtures under Gerrard, as many victories as they had in their opening 11 league outings under Smith beforehand.
Having guided his team to a 2-1 triumph at Crystal Palace in his first away top-flight game in charge, Gerrard will be looking to become the first Villa manager since John Gregory in 1998 to win his first two Premier League away games in the dugout.
Villa’s upturn in form that includes a 2-1 home win over Leicester City last time out is currently enough for a tenth place in the Premier League standings.
With fourth-placed West Ham currently eight points clear of them, a margin for error has been reduced for the Lions, who are keen to mount a challenge on a top-four finish.
Delivering action from the onset, Ollie Watkins has got his side off the mark in four Premier League matches this season.
The English striker has fond memories of his last season’s appearances against Liverpool, having notched up a hat-trick in the first half of the season before scoring a consolation goal at Anfield in April.
Liverpool vs Aston Villa Predicted Line-ups
Liverpool (4-3-3): Alisson Becker; Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joel Matip, Virgil van Dijk, Andy Robertson; Jordan Henderson, Fabinho, Thiago Alcantara; Mohamed Salah, Diogo Jota, Sadio Mane.
Aston Villa (4-3-3): Emiliano Martinez; Matty Cash, Ezri Konsa, Tyrone Mings, Ashley Young; John McGinn, Marvelous Nakamba, Douglas Luiz; Jacob Ramsey, Ollie Watkins, Emiliano Buendia.
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