Aston Villa vs Liverpool Odds, Pick | Premier League Match Preview

Aston Villa vs Liverpool Odds, Pick | Premier League Match Preview article feature image

Chris Brunskill/Getty. Pictured: Darwin Nunez.

  • Liverpool comes back to the Premier League after the World Cup break with a match against Aston Villa.
  • The Reds are short favorites to secure a victory.
  • Will they be able to get a result? Read on for Ian Quillen's preview.

Aston Villa vs. Liverpool Odds

Monday, Dec. 26
12:30 p.m. ET
USA Network
Aston Villa Odds+350
Liverpool Odds-133
Over/Under2.5 (-155 / +125)
Both Teams to Score (Yes/No)(- 161 / +125)
Odds via BetRivers. Get up to the minute soccer odds here.

Unai Emery picks up where he left off at the World Cup break when his Aston Villa side faces another difficult fixture at home to Liverpool on Boxing Day.

Emery took charge of Villa at the start of November and faced three tricky games in his new role. The Villains defeated Manchester United and Brighton & Hove Albion in league play, with a League Cup loss to the same Man United side in between.

Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool shook off their World Cup rust on Thursday in a 3-2 League Cup defeat to Manchester City. The Reds had also enjoyed improved league form prior to Qatar with wins at Tottenham and at home against Southampton.

Liverpool won both league meetings against Aston Villa, who were then managed by Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard. It finished 1-0 at Anfield in December and 2-1 at Villa Park in early May.

Aston Villa in Good Shape Ahead of Busy Period

As inconvenient as it may have been for some sides, the World Cup break was nearly perfectly timed for Emery as he learns his new club.

Only four Villa players were part of the tournament, with World Cup-winning goalkeeper Emi Martinez the lone one to remain past the round of 16. Another quintet could be playing with an extra chip on their shoulders: Tyrone Mings and Ollie Watkins were left home by England, as well as Lucas Digne and Boubacar Kamara by France and Douglas Luiz by Brazil.

Philippe Coutinho may still be out with the hamstring injury that kept him off Brazil's squad. Even if fit, it's unclear he'd be in Emery's Boxing Day plans after a disappointing season so far.

Emery has opted to play two strikers in each of his first three games, though it's yet to be the same pairing. Leon Bailey, Watkins and Danny Ings have all scored in their starts for Emery.

The manager confirmed this week that Martinez will be rested following Argentina's World Cup triumph. Midfielder Jacob Ramsey remains out with a hamstring issue.

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Liverpool Need to Answer Key Questions

The hope for Liverpool was Darwin Nunez would use a return to international play to jumpstart his club form. Instead, there may be worries of the opposite after Thursday's cup tie.

Nunez, the Uruguayan who joined Liverpool this summer, had his best game for the Reds just before his World Cup departure with a brace against Southampton.

But he struggled to make any sort of impact in Qatar, not even generating so much as a shot until the third and final group game. And although he contributed an assist in his return for Liverpool on Thursday, he also looked uncertain in front of goal and flubbed an excellent chance at a late leveler.

Even so, the performance overall was one of Liverpool's better away efforts this season. They more or less matched City after the opening 20 minutes, and have still only defeated one domestic foe away from Anfield this season.

Liverpool will also welcome back captain and center back Virgil van Dijk on Boxing Day. Klopp rested the Dutch international on Thursday after he was the only field player to play every World Cup minute for the Netherlands.

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Aston Villa vs. Liverpool Pick

Villa may be six spots beneath Liverpool in the table, but their home performances have been strong in both results and analytic quality.

Their EPL home xG difference is +2.9, and they've taken four points from three home games against teams above Liverpool in the table. Meanwhile, Liverpool own a -1.9 xG difference and one win away.

The Reds may be due for a positive regression in their away form, but it also appears Villa could be set to realize the potential of their roster under their new manager.

If there's a reason to back Liverpool, it's the League Cup providing a chance to shake off some rust. That's not enough in my view to turn down playing Villa to take at least a point at +112 odds and an implied 47.2% probability.

Pick: Aston Villa +0.5 (+112)

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