Who: Aston Villa vs Liverpool
When: Saturday, November 2nd @ 11:00am ET
Line: Aston Villa +750 | Draw +450 | Liverpool -295
Aston Villa host Liverpool on Saturday in a match that on the surface seems fairly predictable.
While it feels like Aston Villa is doing well this season, they’re sitting 15th right now. They’re 3 points clear of relegation.
And while it feels like Liverpool is doing well this season, well that’s because they are.
Villa aren’t poor, but they have a ceiling. Liverpool have a floor and they’re the best team in the world. Let’s not overthink this. Here’s a preview.
Aston Villa vs Liverpool matchday 11 preview
So back to Villa. They’re tied for 6th in goals scored on the season (15) and are spot on their xG (15.11). They’re a little lucky in conceding, giving up 16 to an xGA of 17.97. Basically, they’re right where they should be in the table.
They’re going to score. However, they’re going to give up slightly more than they score. Villa are taking points off the teams they should. They’re losing to England’s best. Not a lot of surprises here.
Offensively, they have a respectable 5 players registering more than one goal for the season to date. Scottish international John McGinn leads the way with 3. Jack Grealish and Anwar El Ghazi both have 2 goals and 3 assists.
Their backline, primarily anchored by Tyrone Mings and Björn Engels, isn’t good enough to stand up against top flight teams. They’re not Arsenal-bad. Against teams like Liverpool, Manchester City, Chelsea, Tottenham or Leicester, they’re can’t hang for a full 90 minutes. Villa will be competitive in just about every game. This isn’t a poor squad. They’re just going to struggle against the Big 6 + Leicester. No shame there. 10 other squads would say the same thing.
For Liverpool, it’ll be interesting to see if Klopp gives some of the lads who performed well against Genk and Arsenal a start. While consistently converting shots from outside the box isn’t sustainable (even though he historically has done it well), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain should see his name on the team sheet soon. He adds a level of dynamism (offensively) that’s lacking from the midfield.
Naby Keita is too inconsistent to be trusted. However, maybe this is a contest where giving Curtis Jones a run out as a sub makes sense. He’s looked sharp in pre-season and both Carabao Cup matches. Keep the younguns who are performing motivated.
I don’t expect Klopp to tinker too much though. The most likely scenario is he rolls out his preferred starting XI. The Premier League is too important to the club this season.
Liverpool are too much of a machine right now to get derailed at Villa. The Reds are winning. While oddsmakers are -157 for this to come under 3.5 goals, this feels like a 3-1 Liverpool win. Villa are good enough to find the net. Their backline won’t hold against Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane. In particular, Salah looks as though he’s ready for one of those breakout games.
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