Who: Aston Villa vs Liverpool
When: Sunday, October 4th @ 2:15pm ET
Line: Aston Villa +900 | Draw +440 | Liverpool -315
It’s been a busy fixture list for Liverpool the past two weeks.
The Reds have played two Carabao Cup matches (a win at Lincoln, a loss to Arsenal) as well as Premier League matches against Chelsea and the Gunners.
Now, they travel to an Aston Villa side that is playing with confidence. Could the Reds trip up this match?
Aston Villa vs Liverpool matchday 4 preview
It would be impossible to start this preview without first mentioning that two likely starting XI players–Sadio Mane and Thiago–have contracted COVID-19 and will be unavailable.
The fact Klopp started both Diogo Jota and Mo Salah complicates matters. Will they be sufficiently rested to give it a go vs Villa with just two full recovery days?
Salah is used to the grind and should be fine. Jota is still getting integrated and may not be recovered. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is out with a MCL strain. Xherdan Shaqiri is constantly battling fitness issues. If there are no other viable options. the most likely candidate to plug in Mane’s spot would be Divock Origi. Given Mane’s form, that’s a massive downgrade. However, if it’s Jota, don’t expect the Reds to skip much of a beat.
Otherwise, the rest of the squad’s key players are fit (though Jordan Henderson will be a game-time decision).
Villa is an early surprise this season. They’ve only played twice, but they’ve tallied two W’s and have conceded zero goals. While Jack Grealish is the star and gets the headlines, an improving backline led by Tyrone Mings and Ezri Konza has impressed early.
Sure, Villa’s two wins are against bottom dwellers Sheffield United and Fulham, but a season ago those were not guaranteed W’s. Villa gave the Reds a scare earlier in 2020. They won’t come into this match scared.
It won’t be pretty, but expect Liverpool to gut out a 3-1 win.