With only one defeat in their last 13 games, Liverpool will be hoping to continue their good form with a win away to goal-shy Aston Villa.
There were more calls from Villa supporters for manager Paul Lambert to leave after they fired yet another blank and lost to bottom club Leicester City, a result which has them just three points clear of danger and ensure that their goals total remains a paltry 11.
More worrying was the manner of the loss, as they could so easily have lost by a hefty margin at the King Power Stadium but for Leicester’s errant finishing. Attendances at Villa Park are dwindling fast, so they will need new signing Carles Gil to make an immediate impact and add more creativity to the side.
There are still a few question marks about Liverpool’s defensive qualities, but they kept a clean sheet at Sunderland last time out in what turned out to be a very comfortable 1-0 victory. They performed with the authority of a side in form, despite Raheem Sterling having been rested.
One of the most pleasing aspects for manager Brendan Rodgers in recent weeks has been the growing influence of the club’s summer signings, with Lazar Markovic scoring the winner at Sunderland to compliment a man of the match display, while Emre Can has played well at centre-back.
Ciaran Clark is out for Villa following his late sending off at Leicester, Philippe Senderos, Libor Kozak and captain Ron Vlaar are also missing.
For Liverpool, this game is likely to come too soon for Brad Jones and Daniel Sturridge, but Steven Gerrard should be fit despite coming off at half-time at Sunderland.
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