2021-22 Premier League: Week 16 – Liverpool vs Aston Villa

Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool take on a former legend of the Merseyside club as Steven Gerrard’s Aston Villa visit Anfield.

Should Manchester City fail to win at Lunchtime, victory would see Liverpool move top of the Premier League.

Villa meanwhile could go eighth with a win if Wolves lose at Man City at Lunchtime.

 

Team News

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Nathaniel Phillips is ruled out for Liverpool after suffering a cheekbone fracture.

Diogo Jota (knock) is a doubt but Roberto Firmino (hamstring), Curtis Jones (eye) and Harvey Elliott (ankle) remain absent.

Villa are set to welcome Danny Ings back from a thigh injury which has kept the striker out in recent weeks.

Matt Targett (head) could return but Leon Bailey, Bertrand Traore (both thigh) and Trezeguet (fitness) remain absent.

 

Stat Attack

  • Liverpool have won six of their last seven league meetings against Aston Villa (W6, L1).
  • Aston Villa have lost three of their last seven visits to Anfield (W2, D2, L3).
  • Last season saw 12 goals scored across both league meetings in this fixture of which four goals were delivered by Villa’s Ollie Watkins.
  • Ten of Mohamed Salah’s 13 league goals for Liverpool this season have been scored on the Egyptian’s left foot.
  • No Villa player has created more shots on target this season in the league than Ollie Watkins, who has converted 13 of his 27 shots onto target.

 

Prediction

After enduring a relatively easy restart after November’s international break, Liverpool have clinically fought their way through two difficult matches in the last week in which patience was key, with their perseverance paying off with a fifth and sixth consecutive win.

Villa meanwhile continue to look a more united team growing through every match under Steven Gerrard which was evident with their fightback to defeat Leicester last time out, especially with their aggression on and off the ball plus defensive stability.

Gerrard though might need to tweak Villa’s strategy because if they come out and play with their new-found pressing intensity, Liverpool will have the pace and threat needed to hit them at speed so I expect them to try and play on the counter to give them a chance.

Prediction: Liverpool 2-1 Aston Villa

Result: Liverpool 1-0 Aston Villa

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