Liverpool is all set to take on Aston Villa in their Premier League encounter on Sunday, the 24th of August. The game will be hosted by Liverpool. Liverpool has an enviable record on home games. The Villans meanwhile would like to work on reversing their losing trend to Liverpool. In the beginning of the year, Liverpool had played Aston Villa more than 86 times. Liverpool had won more than 55 of those games and Aston Villa managed to win only 14. However, the current season has begun badly for both teams. Liverpool lost 1-2 to Tottenham and Aston lost to Wigan 0-2. While Liverpool is ranked at 12th on the points table, Aston Villa is nestled quietly at the 16th spot. It is still early days in the Premier League and a long way to go before points start mattering, but every win does count and both teams will be thirsting for victory during Sunday’s head on encounter.
Aston Villa had a dismal match against the Wigans; they could not score even a single goal against the opposition. However they fared reasonably well in the pre season club friendly matches, having notched up wins against Porto, Juventus and Fiorentina and having triumphed in the Peace Cup. Manager Martin O’Neill has had to contend with the loss of star performer Gareth Barry to Manchester City and Zat Knight to Bolton. Some notable young players have made an entry into the team like Steward Downing (Boro), Fabian Delph (Leeds) and Habib Beye (Newcastle). The Villans’ problems have been compounded with the retirement of Martin Laursen due to recurrent injury problems. The new side shows promise and flashes of talent. Teenager Mark Albrighton has been a breath of fresh air, while other youngsters like Barry Bannan, Chris Herd and Nigel Reo-Coker have worked hard and come up with impressive performances to prove critics wrong. Fans would pin their hopes on John Carew who could most likely be the top scorer for the team (SkyBet). Aston finished 6th last year; it is widely expected that they will probably fare worse this year and finish 8th (SkyBet)
Liverpool seems almost set to retail their top 4 position as in last year’s Premier League tables. Last year they went down in the finals to finish 2nd; this year they might just about manage to finish at number 3. The loss of Xabi Alonso to Real Madrid will prove to be quite costly for Liverpool. Liverpool still has Steven Gerrard in midfield position though and his fitness could be crucial in determining Liverpool’s success ratio in the League this time around. Gerrard seemed to have recovered from the groin injury during Liverpool’s encounter with the Spurs. Rafa Benitez though would want his club to reclaim the title that has remained elusive since 1990. The incredibly talented and celebrated side is facing niggling injuries this season. Daniel Agger, Fabio Aurelio and even new entrant Alberto Aquilani are all facing injuries and the club would hope that they recover well in time to boost their chances this time around.
The odds do seem to favor Liverpool at this point of time. Betway and Bwin put 1.45 odds on a Liverpool victory, while Betsson places the stakes at 1.5. Betway also places 4-1 odds for a draw and 7.5-1 odds for an Aston victory. Similar odds from Bwin and Betsson are pegged at 3.75-1 for a draw and 7-1 for an Aston win. Betfair also seems to believe that the game could be a low scoring one with odds of about 1.87 for less than 2.5 goals in play currently.