Liverpool vs Aston Villa Odds, Pick | Premier League Predictions
Michael Regan/Getty. Pictured: Roberto Firmino and Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Liverpool vs Aston Villa Odds
Aston Villa Odds
|Over/Under||2.5 (-175 / +135)|
|Both Teams to Score (Yes/No)||(-143 / +105)|
|Odds via bet365. Get the latest soccer odds here.|
Liverpool’s attempt to chase down a top four spot and place in next year’s Champions League is down to the final two weekends of the Premier League season. The Reds have rattled off seven consecutive victories in the league, and two more to finish the season would get them to 71 points and a decent shot of top four if Newcastle or Manchester United were to falter twice in the final matches. Next up for Jurgen Klopp’s side is surging Aston Villa, whose excellent recent form has helped them get into eighth place, tied on points and goal difference with Spurs for seventh.
Europa League or Europa Conference League is a very real possibility for Unai Emery’s side, but they’ll likely need to get a result from this match to stay in the race for the European places. Villa beat Spurs 2-1 last weekend in a relatively comfortable triumph, but the Villans’ recent tactics and high line approach could leave them vulnerable against Liverpool’s press at Anfield on Saturday.
Liverpool Thriving Offensively
The tactical tweak from Klopp to move Trent Alexander-Arnold to a more central midfield has improved Liverpool’s ball retention abilities. The ball winning numbers in the opposition half once losing possession are up too. The defense has improved as Alexander-Arnold has also retained his elite ball progression and chance creation numbers.
Liverpool are producing 2.46 xG per match in the last eight league matches, dating back to the 2-2 draw with Arsenal at home on April 9. Liverpool finally have their first choice attack fit, which gives Klopp the option to play four of Diogo Jota, Luis Diaz, Cody Gakpo, Mo Salah and Darwin Nunez on the pitch at a time, if he so chooses. Klopp opted for this lineup against Brentford’s more passive defensive approach and the result was 2.2 xG created and a 1-0 victory.
The return of Curtis Jones to full fitness has also provided the extra additional attacking punch from midfield that has been lacking a bit when he was out. Jones has tallied nine shots in six games, which doesn’t sound like a lot, but is excellent production for someone not in the Liverpool front three. The role is similar to that of a Gini Wijnaldum, as he’s an excellent ball carrier and receiver of progressive passes from the back line.
With Alexander-Arnold in the midfield, they have the piece that Spurs did not to expose Aston Villa’s back line. Villa aren’t really doing a ton of pressing in midfield areas, and Liverpool should find plenty of success springing Salah over the top and in behind this defense. With the improved defense as well, the Reds are once again power rated as the second-best team in the league in my ratings.
Aston Villa Hunting High Level Finish
Aston Villa played a high-risk, high-reward approach against Spurs and pulled it off beautifully. Spurs were consistently caught offside and didn’t have the passing quality to play through the Villa defense without being offside. Liverpool at Anfield will be a much more difficult challenge on Saturday. The Reds have the forward counter-pressing ability and the energy to generate high turnovers against Aston Villa as Unai Emery’s side insists on playing out from the back repeatedly.
Villa will continue to play their high line and try to build out from the back under pressure, but they’re at their worst as a defense immediately after ceding possession in transition. Emery has shown his side can defend deep and can take away space from more passive opponents. The more aggressive ones — like Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal — all created a ton of high turnovers and immediate scoring opportunities in those matches.
Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal all posted more than 2 xG in post-Emery hire meetings against Villa this season.
Liverpool vs Aston Villa Pick
The last meeting between these two teams is a decent indicator of what I expect on Saturday at Anfield. Villa were able to play through Liverpool and create some chances of its own, but Liverpool got in behind and in on goal through Nunez and Salah numerous times. The Reds scored three goals at Villa and generated 2.7 xG.
Aston Villa are at the peak of their market power rating right now and this matchup at Liverpool could come as a bit of a reality check for the Villans. I’d bet Liverpool to win the first half at -110 or better and then also would bet Liverpool’s team total over 2.5 at +140 or better. As much credit as Emery deserves for making real improvements to this Villa side, they aren’t quite good enough under pressure building from the back to trust them at Anfield.
Picks: Liverpool first half ML (-110 or better) | Liverpool Over 2.5 (+140 or better)
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