To end their stretch of a very difficult start to the season, Aston Villa host Liverpool after getting three points from their first two matches but getting a lot more praises. Liverpool, in a season they see themselves making some sort of comeback, are carrying an even longer streak of success that goes way back to last season and includes a win at Villa Park.
It was an interesting exchange between the two sides last season as Villa won in Liverpool 3-1 while the Reds won in Birmingham 2-1 three months later. Liverpool played quite well in their opening weekend win over Stoke City, but their lack of ability to convert and the way things got a little bit complicated in the end do pose as worrying signs.
For Villa, the season began with a not-so-surprising win against Arsenal at the Emirates and was followed by a loss against Chelsea, coming with plenty of praise and a lot of hard feelings toward the referee that allowed Chelsea to get away with too many things. The feeling at Villa Park is that this season, with Christian Benteke in exceptional form, will be a lot more than some fight for survival in the league.
Liverpool are completely healthy when it comes to key players, only missing Luis Suarez due to his suspension and Sebastian Coates who wasn’t going to play anyway. If they can avoid the counter attacking that comes from Villa’s exceptional three-headed attack, things shouldn’t be too complicated for them against a team that skips any attempt to move the ball in the midfield and relies completely on their speed and pressure up front.
Villa will still be missing some key players, as Ciaran Clark, Nathan Baker and Chris Herd are still injured, while Charlez N’Zogbia is also probably going to be missing as well.
Prediction – Liverpool usually do well when visiting Villa Park, and as long a they don’t stretch out too much and allow space for Agbonlahor and Weimann, they should be able to keep Benteke under wraps, and come away with the win.