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Preview: Liverpool vs Aston Villa – prediction, team news, line-ups

Preview: Liverpool vs Aston Villa – prediction, team news, line-ups

Anfield forms the backdrop for a Premier League encounter on Saturday, with Liverpool looking to further their top-four hopes when they take on European hopefuls Aston Villa.

The Reds continued their recent surge with an emphatic 3-0 victory over relegation-battling Leicester City last Monday, thanks to a Curtis Jones brace and a stunner from Trent Alexander-Arnold.

Jurgen Klopp’s rampant Reds are keen to fight until the last Matchday to secure Champions League football ahead of next season as they sit just one point outside the top four.

There is no shortage of confidence in the Liverpool locker room, having won seven games on the trot, but they will be wary of the threat Villa poses with the Villans also hunting a European finish.

Unai Emery’s relentless Lions roared past Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 last time out with goals from Jacob Ramsey and Douglas Luiz, ensuring Harry Kane’s 90th-minute penalty was nothing but a consolation.

They have drawn level on points with Spurs in the Premier League table, and victory over Liverpool would be monumental for their continental ambitions.

Match Preview

Liverpool will fancy their chances of extending their winning streak to eight games when they host Villa as they have won nine of their last ten meetings with the Villans (L1).

The Reds have lost six Premier League games against Villa on home turf – they have only suffered more EPL defeats on Merseyside to Manchester United (12) and Chelsea (7).

Anfield has always been a fortress for Klopp’s side, and the Reds will be looking to feed off their home form as they are unbeaten in 11 league games in front of their supporters (W9, D2).

Liverpool have won their final home game in each of the last six league campaigns and have only lost their last match at Anfield once in the previous 11 seasons (W9, D1).

Villa face an uphill task of overcoming the rampant Reds in their territory, but it is a feat they must achieve to keep their European hopes alive.

Emery has waved his magic wand since arriving at Villa Park, with only Manchester City, Arsenal, and Liverpool winning more points than the Villans (45) since the Spaniard’s arrival.

However, Emery is winless in his last seven meetings with Liverpool in all competitions (D2, L5), and the Villans have failed to beat the Reds in each of their last four Anfield visits.

Ollie Watkins has scored more league goals against Liverpool than he has against any other opponent (5), including Villa’s only goal in the 3-1 defeat earlier this season, and will be itching to have another go at the Reds.

Premier League Form

Liverpool: WWWWW

Aston Villa: DWLLW

Liverpool vs Aston Villa Potential Line-ups

Liverpool (4-3-3): Alisson; Trent Alexander-Arnold, Ibrahima Konate, Virgil Van Dijk, Andrew Robertson; Jordan Henderson, Fabinho, Curtis Jones; Mohamed Salah, Cody Gakpo, Luis Diaz.

Aston Villa (4-4-1-1): Emiliano Martinez; Ashley Young, Ezri Konsa, Tyrone Mings, Alex Moreno; Jacob Ramsey, Boubacar Kamara, Douglas Luiz, John McGinn; Emiliano Buendia, Ollie Watkins.

We Say: Liverpool 2-1 Aston Villa

Liverpool are unbeaten in 11 league home games, winning the last four in a row by a one-goal margin, so they should expect another closely fought contest on home turf.

However, the Reds are in their full flow and will take some stopping. They should prove too hot to handle for the resilient Villans and scrap to another marginal victory.

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