Riled up Liverpool to recover greatness at Anfield
Rocked by a 4-0 hammering at the Etihad Stadium, newly crowned Premier League champions Liverpool host an Aston Villa, fighting for their lives in 18th position. The Reds had to work hard to scrape a 2-1 win in the reverse fixture, almost suffering their first defeat of the season, trailing until the 87th minute. Had Liverpool been beaten narrowly or maybe managed a bore draw against Manchester City, Villa would have more of a chance in this encounter, however they will be hurt by the outcome and riled up to make amends on Sunday. If their demolition of Crystal Palace last time out at Anfield is anything to go by, Dean Smith will have his work cut out.
The champions still have a bunch of records in their sights to compete for, having shown clear disappointment at the end of the City game, Jurgen Klopp will be looking to quash any thoughts that his team are less motivated since taking their crown. Liverpool can still achieve the Premier League records for; most points, most wins, most home wins, most away wins and biggest title winning margin. They have won every match in the league at home this season, with 10 of those 16 victories being by 2 or more goals, with their last four PL home games bringing more than 2.5 goals. Villa have not kept a clean sheet on the road all season, fueling the confidence of Liverpool’s potent front three especially Mohamed Salah who has scored 15 of his 17 league goals at home.
Ones to watch
Joe Gomez had a very tough Thursday evening, dueling with former foe Raheem Sterling and often coming off the worst. The England international is enjoying his first extended run in the team having been plagued by injury since signing from Charlton Athletic in 2015. He conceded a penalty and was nutmegged for City’s first two goals on Thursday, with knocks to Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip the 23-year-old will most likely start again on Sunday, with importance on his performance to prove he is the rightful partner of Virgil Van Dijk in the Reds’ formidable backline.
With all eyes on Jack Grealish spearheading the Villans survival bid, let’s shed some light on another creative force in the side who can go under the radar. Summer signing Anwar El Ghazi has been a constant threat, taking some stress of the shoulders of the captain with six goals and four assists, including some strong displays in the run to the League Cup final. The winger signed for just over £8million from Lille in the summer having spent the 2018/19 campaign on loan at Villa Park, he could be on many transfer shortlists should the Birmingham-based side drop back into the second tier.
Villa’s appalling defence will not be able to handle Liverpool’s firepower, they have the joint worst in the division. It is not easy to find value in backing the champions, so get on this shorty with confidence.