Liverpool vs Aston Villa predictions: Rampant Reds ripe to see off Villa threat
- Liverpool have won nine of their last 10 Premier League games against Aston Villa
- Aston Villa have failed to win their last three on the road
- Recommended Bet: Liverpool to win to zero
Liverpool could find themselves in the top four of the Premier League come Saturday evening but need to hold up their half of the bargain by beating Aston Villa at home.
The Reds sit a point behind Manchester United, who are also in action at 15:00 as they head to Bournemouth. Erik ten Hag's men have the cushion of a game in hand but possess an inferior goal difference, and their northwest rivals are coming on strong.
Jurgen Klopp, who will sit out the match as he serves the first of a two-game ban, saw his team beat Leicester 3-0 on Monday but will be wary of a Villa team who prolonged their own European hopes with last Saturday's 2-1 win over Tottenham.
However, they have struggled away from home, failing to win their last three, while their poor record against Liverpool also bodes well for the hosts.
Klopp may have to battle sentiment with his team selection after it was confirmed that it will be Roberto Firmino, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and James Milner's last Anfield outing, with all three set to depart in the summer when their contracts expire.
Of the trio, Firmino is in danger of missing out with a thigh problem but will be desperate to play, even for a minute. However, the same cannot be said for another departee, Naby Keita, who remains sidelined with an unknown injury, while Thiago Alcantara (hip), Stefan Bajcetic (adductor) and Calvin Ramsay (knee) are also out.
For Villa, former Red Philippe Coutinho continues to be absent with an unspecified issue, but Matty Cash returned to the squad for the win over Spurs. The Polish international had been missing since March with a calf issue but made a cameo off the bench and could start here.
Liverpool are unbeaten in nine in the league, winning their last seven to revive hopes of a top-four finish.
Part of their run has been down to the form of Mohamed Salah, who has been particularly potent at home, scoring in his team's last nine Anfield outings in all competitions.
Salah also has a good record against Villa, netting six times in the pair's last six meetings in all competition, including in the reverse fixture, December's 3-1 win for the Reds in the West Midlands.
That run has contributed to his side winning nine of their last 10 meetings against the Villans, who have not won at Anfield since 2014.
They have failed to win their last three on the road, scoring just once in that time. They have also scored just 17 times in 18 away games this season, while Liverpool have kept three successive clean sheets.
Liverpool have been irresistible in recent weeks, with Klopp saying his players should be proud that their form has started to pay off after an otherwise underwhelming season.
Villa have improved massively since Unai Emery's appointment in October, and the Spaniard will not have been swayed by his team's drop-off in form. Instead, he may be using it as a test to see which players he can rely on for next season.
Emery's record shows he can set his side up, leading Villarreal to the semi-finals of last season's Champions League, beating Juventus and Bayern Munich along the way. However, their run was halted in the semi-finals by Liverpool, losing 2-0 at Anfield, and that might be a correct score to consider at 7/1 with LiveScore Bet.
The Reds' recent defensive improvement has been key to their resurgence and can continue on Saturday.
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