Sturridge-less Side May Struggle Against The Villans
Liverpool v Aston Villa
Liverpool take on Aston Villa at Anfield in Saturday evening’s Premier League fixture with a Sturridge-less starting XI on the cards…
Liverpool kicked off the season with a solid 2-1 victory against Southampton but were then brought back down to earth by a humbling 3-1 defeat at Manchester City that seemed to highlight the significance of Luis Suarez’s departure. But to their credit, they then bounced back to record a very impressive 3-0 win against Tottenham at White Hart Lane a fortnight ago.
Raheem Sterling has scored two goals so far this season, while Daniel Sturridge, Steven Gerrard and Alberto Moreno have each scored once.
After the opening three games, Aston Villa sit above Liverpool in the Premier League table with seven points from two wins and a draw. Paul Lambert’s side kicked off with an unexpected 1-0 win at Stoke then were held to a goalless draw by Newcastle before beating Hull 2-1 at Villa Park in game three.
Sandwiched in the middle of those Premier League successes was a 1-0 Capital One Cup defeat to Leyton Orient for which Lambert made sweeping changes to his starting XI.
Andreas Weimann has scored two of Villa’s three goals this season, with Gabriel Agbonlahor getting the other. Brad Guzan has conceded just once in nearly five hours of football.
Daniel Sturridge picked up a thigh injury in training for England at the weekend and is extremely doubtful for this game. Glen Johnson and Martin Skrtel are also carrying knocks but are not thought to be too serious. Mario Balotelli is in line to make his home debut for the club.
Christian Benteke is yet to return to full fitness after the Achilles injury that ruled him out for six months, but Ron Vlaar and Jores Okore are both battling to be fit for the game.
Aston Villa are unbeaten in their last three Premier League visits to Anfield including a 2-2 draw on Merseyside last season when Weimann and Benteke gave the visitors a 2-0 lead before Sturridge and Gerrard cancelled out the advantage.
Liverpool won the meeting at Villa Park last season thanks to a solitary goal from Sturridge, while Gerrard has scored three goals in the last four meetings between the teams.
Villa have proved to be something of a bogey team to Liverpool in recent years so I wouldn’t be rushing to back the 1/4 about a home win here. The Villans are a tempting 9/1 for the win but perhaps the draw at odds of 9/2 is the best bet in the Match Odds market.
When one side is priced so short in the Match Odds, goals are typically anticipated.
However, they may not be quite so forthcoming here as a Villa side that have conceded only once this season come up against a Liverpool team that looks like being without star man Daniel Sturridge.
The betting value in this game is undoubtedly in the 7/5 about fewer than 2.5 goals being scored.