Reds legend Steven Gerrard will seek to put another dent in his former club’s Premier League title hopes when Liverpool travel to Aston Villa on Tuesday evening.
The Lions eased to a 3-1 success at Burnley at the weekend, while Jurgen Klopp’s side were forced to accept a point in a 1-1 draw with Tottenham Hotspur.
While Gerrard is yet to prove that he can go toe-to-toe with the big boys with his Aston Villa side, the Lions have welcomed back-to-back wins over two basement sides in Norwich City and Burnley to end their miserable patch of form over the Easter period.
After confirming the Canaries’ demotion, Villa made Burnley’s survival task that little bit more difficult by storming to a 3-1 success at Turf Moor on Saturday, as Danny Ings, Emiliano Buendia and Ollie Watkins were all on target before Maxwel Cornet’s consolation for the Clarets.
Taking seven points from the last nine on offer in the Premier League and conceding just once in that stretch sees Villa threatening to break into the top half as they lie in 11th spot in the table, but Newcastle United and Leicester City could both usurp them with victories later on Sunday.
Gerrard never collected a Premier League title with Liverpool as a player and certainly cannot afford to let sentimentality creep in before Tuesday’s game, with the 41-year-old – and the Anfield faithful – fully aware of his task at hand at Villa Park.
The ex-midfielder’s legacy with Liverpool should not be shattered even if he does oversee a result which all but ends the Reds’ Premier League dream, but Villa have won just two of their last eight home games in the top flight, and a wounded Liverpool are a force to be reckoned with.
Jurgen Klopp had plenty to say about Tottenham Hotspur’s tactics following the full-time whistle at Anfield – much to the amusement of the travelling crowd – and the Reds’ quadruple hopes suffered a major blow at the hands of Antonio Conte’s men during a 1-1 draw on Merseyside.
Left in acres of space at the back post, Ryan Sessegnon had all the time in the world to pick out Son Heung-min for his 20th goal of the season, but the little magician Luis Diaz saw his effort take a nick off Rodrigo Bentancur and wrong foot Hugo Lloris to steal a point for Liverpool.
Cross after cross after cross led to nothing for Liverpool against a steadfast Lilywhites defence, and while Klopp’s side have temporarily gone back to the summit on goal difference, Manchester City will go three points clear should they beat Newcastle United on Sunday afternoon.
A six-game winning run in all competitions and 12-game winning run at Anfield in the Premier League came to an end for Liverpool at the weekend, but their unbeaten run domestically now stands at 16 matches, and they have kept clean sheets in four of their last five away from home in the top flight.
Flashbacks of the 7-2 humbling will inevitably cross the minds of Klopp and the Kop ahead of Tuesday’s journey to Villa Park, but they have since won three in a row against Villa in all competitions and will be in no charitable mood towards Gerrard while the quadruple dream remains alive.
Aston Villa vs Liverpool Team News
Villa boss Gerrard has no fresh injury concerns to report from the weekend, but midfield starlet Jacob Ramsey missed out after suffering a groin injury in training and is regarded as a major doubt for the contest.
Kortney Hause’s abdominal problem will likely keep him sidelined a little while longer too, and it remains to be seen if Leon Bailey will recover from an ankle injury in time to play again before the campaign concludes.
Ex-Liverpool man Philippe Coutinho was dropped to the bench for the win over Burnley, and Gerrard will be hesitant to tinker with a winning formula despite the quick turnaround, as another former Red in Danny Ings spearheads the charge.
As far as Liverpool are concerned, Roberto Firmino returned to training before the Tottenham win, and while he was not risked for the contest, he should be able to apply for a place in the squad this week.
Klopp has no other injury concerns to work around but is sure to consider some alterations with the FA Cup final in mind, as Joe Gomez and Kostas Tsimikas seek starts in the full-back areas.
Naby Keita and Diogo Jota can also feel optimistic about their chances of starting this week, while Ibrahima Konate was given the nod for the Tottenham draw but may now cede his spot to the returning Joel Matip.
Aston Villa vs Liverpool Head-to-Head and Key Numbers
The two teams have squared off 198 times across competitions, with their first official meeting dating back to 1894.
As one would expect, Liverpool have been the better team in this fixture, with 99 wins against City’s 59. The spoils have been shared on 40 occasions.
The last 12 meetings between the two teams have produced conclusive results, with four wins for Villa and eight victories for the Reds.
Liverpool and Villa have both scored four goals apiece from counter-attacks this season, while no team has conceded more on the counter (7) than Villa.
The Reds are undefeated in the Premier League in 2022, winning 13 of their 16 games.
Villa have failed to score in three of their last five Premier League games at home, while the Reds have failed to do so just once this campaign.
Only fourth-placed Arsenal have played fewer draws (3) than Aston Villa (4) this season.
Aston Villa vs Liverpool Prediction
Villa have produced inconsistent displays throughout the season, recording less than half of their wins on home turf (6 of 13). Since their memorable 7-2 win at home against the Reds in the 2020-21 season, they have lost next three with an aggregate score of 7-2.
Meanwhile, the Reds have produced remarkable displays throughout the season. Saturday’s draw against Spurs was likely because of fatigue catching up as they remain in the fray for an unprecedented quadruple.The Reds should produce a strong performance and bounce back with a win against their southern rivals.