Aston Villa travel to Anfield on Saturday to take on Liverpool and the fixture does not favour Aston Villa. In the past 9 meetings between the two sides Aston Villa have only come away with 3 points on 2 occasions.
When the two sides met just before Christmas Liverpool ran away 2-0 winners at Villa Park as Liverpool edged the possession with 52% compared to Aston Villa’s 48%. Liverpool scored their two goals within 4 first half minutes early in the game and §§§this shocked Aston Villa who never really got going and found themselves chasing the game throughout.
Liverpool themselves are going through a grey area when it comes to results and they may have won the Carling Cup,but they were made to earn their victory. Liverpool beat Cardiff City at Wembley Stadium in an exciting game and the winners were decided via a penalty shoot-out.
Liverpool have only won 5 of their 15 games at Anfield this season; their worst record since 1953-54,their last win in the Premier League was against local rivals Everton. Liverpool ran away 3-0 winners in the game thanks to a hatrick from Stephen Gerrard,Liverpool take on the same team next weekend in the FA Cup Semi-Final.
Liverpool will be without Jose Reina who is serving a suspension following his straight red-card in last Sunday’s heated exchange with Newcastle when Reina was dismissed for head-butting James Perch. Reina will now break his impressive 183 consecutive appearance between the sticks for Liverpool but hands over to goalkeeper Alexander Doni who signed last summer from Italian club Roma.
Saturday’s game is going to be difficult for Aston Villa as they are without the captain Stiliyan Petrov who started his treatment on Monday to help cure him of his acute leukaemia. Gabby Agbonlahor is the now stand-in skipper till the end of season.
Aston Villa have found themselves with more injury doubts as Charles NZogbia, Andreas Weimann and Carlos Cuellar all looking likely to miss out of Villa’s trip to Liverpool. They have found themselves having to use fringe players over the last few weeks as cover to regular first-teamers; Aston Villa’s bench has an age average of 22 years old.
The bench average includes the Emile Heskey(34) and Brad Guzan(27), the first team squad included a handle full of Aston Villa reserves bringing the average of the first team 24.5 years old.
Aston Villa will go into the game looking to gain at least a point to secure themselves a Premier League status for another season. Aston Villa are currently flirting close to the relegation zone finding themselves just 5 points above the relegation zone. As Liverpool have found in recent weeks the teams nearer the bottom of the Premier League are something not to be taken lightly.
Liverpool were leading 2-0 against Queens Park Rangers until the 80th minute but were on the receiving end of a shocking 3-2 defeat with 3 goals in 13 minutes. Liverpool also found themselves losing to Wigan Athletic 2-1 at Anfield.
The outcome of Saturday’s game has the ability to go to either side as Liverpool have created 385 chances during the course of the season but have found themselves not able to convert them with 180 shots going off target and have hit the woodwork on 23 occasions; this includes from deflections and saves.
Aston Villa have created 282 chances during the season but have been very careless wasting 133 of those with shots off target and have hit the woodwork on 7 occasions via deflections and saves.
Possible Aston Villa line-up: Given; Lihaj, Collins, Baker, Warnock; Albrighton, Bannan, Herd, Heskey; Ireland; Agbonlahor
Possible Liverpool line-up: Doni; Flanagan, Coates, Skrtel, Enrique; Henderson, Spearing, Gerrard, Downing; Carroll, Suarez