Aston Villa enters the round close to the Premier League (PL) relegation zone (W2, D1, L2) and is heavy favorites to lose again as Liverpool visit Villa Park. The ‘Villans’ have been resilient nonetheless, going unbeaten in four straight PL home matches (W2, D2), though they have lost five straight league H2Hs against Liverpool here.
Often quick starters, Villa have scored seven and conceded three across their first halves (GD +4), while scoring eight and conceding a whopping 13 after the break (GD -5). Significantly, their record of being ahead at half-time on five occasions in ten league matches is matched/bettered by just five teams.
Last round’s turnaround victory against Spurs was Liverpool’s sixth straight competitive match to see both teams score. Overall, this has been the case in 76.47% of the Reds’ 17 competitive matches this season, while they’ve conceded the first goal in three of their last six league fixtures.
Away from home, Liverpool has scored a majority of their goals in the first half (55.56%), and possess the best average points return (2.6) – and conceded goals average (0.6) – in the league from such matches. Liverpool also boasts an even bigger winning percentage in PL away matches entered as favorites (80%) compared to last season (72.22%).
Players to watch: Villa talisman Jack Grealish has found his stride with two goals in the last three PL matches. Both arrived ‘mid-match’, in the 40th-50th-minute interval.
Roberto Firmino, meanwhile, remains Liverpool’s top scorer away from home (league), with two of his three strikes arriving beyond the 70th-minute mark.
Stat attack: Aston Villa has scored first in two of three matches against opposition from last season’s top-six.
They eventually lost all three matches, however, conceding precisely three goals on every occasion.
Liverpool has emerged victorious after a won first half a league-high seven times this season.
Will not play
Referee: Moss J. (Eng),
Venue: Villa Park (Birmingham)
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