Aston Villa v Liverpool: Back Mane to be main man as Reds bounce back

Dan Fitch has his money on Liverpool claiming a valuable three points against Aston Villa and he also fancies Sadio Mane to get on the scoresheet...

Ings and Watkins combine in Burnley win

Aston Villa have rediscovered some form in recent weeks, with Steven Gerrard's side having won their last two games.

A 2-0 win against Norwich in their most recent home game, was followed by a 3-1 win at Burnley over the weekend. Ollie Watkins and Danny Ings have been paired together by Gerrard against Burnley, after Ings came on as a substitute against Norwich.

Ings looked like a canny purchase for Villa when he joined in the summer, but first Dean Smith and latterly Gerrard, have sometimes found it difficult to find the right balance, in their attempts to get the former Liverpool striker and Watkins into the same side. Against Burnley, Villa fielded a diamond midfield behind the two strikers and it will be interesting to see if Gerrard persists with the formation against a team as good as Liverpool.

KortneyHause will definitely not feature in this game, as he continues to recover from an abdominal issue. Jacob Ramsey and Leon Bailey both missed the game against Burnley and remain doubts.

Liverpool have ground to recover

Liverpool simply must win at Villa Park, as they attempt to keep their Premier League title hopes alive.

It was a rollercoaster week for Liverpool and their rivals Manchester City. On Tuesday, Liverpool reached the final of the Champions League, while Manchester City suffered heartbreak with a late collapse against Real Madrid, the following night.

Over the weekend it was Liverpool that were left disappointed, when they could only draw at home with Spurs, before City extended their lead at the top of the Premier League, with a 5-0 win against Newcastle.

Liverpool now trail City by three points and a goal difference of +64 to +68. Not only must they hope that Pep Guardiola's team drop at least three points between now and the end of the season, but they must also try to build a superior goal difference in their remaining games, in case the teams finish level on points.

Liverpool's performance in the 1-1 draw with Tottenham was close to their normal standards, but they struggled to create chances against a dogged defence and were always susceptible to swift breaks.

The only player missing for Jurgen Klopp against Spurs was Roberto Firmino, but the Brazilian should be available to face Villa. Whether he will be get a chance, given the form of fellow attackers Diogo Jota and Luis Diaz, is another matter.

Liverpool have great record of clean sheets

It's Liverpool that are the favourites at 1.47, with the draw at 5.0 and Aston Villa at 7.8.

There's no reason to think that Liverpool won't win this one and their odds seem pretty fair. Villa's recovery has come against struggling sides such as Norwich and Burnley, while Liverpool's slip up against Tottenham wasn't a huge surprise, given the attacking quality that the Londoners possess.

Liverpool have only conceded in two of their last ten Premier League games, with Manchester City being the other team to breach their watertight defence. There could therefore be value at Liverpool to win to nil at 2.63, even if the Ings and Watkins combination has worked well over the past couple of games.

Salah's in-form colleagues offer value

An alternative way to back Liverpool that allows for Villa to score a goal, is to combine an away victory with under 3.5 goals, using Bet Builder. That pays out as a 2.08 double on the Sportsbook and is a bet that's landed in six of Liverpool's last ten Premier League games.

There is also value to be found in the anytime goalscorer market, where the likes of Diaz and Sadio Mane are in better form than the favourite Mohamed Salah. Mane is 2.5 to score, despite doing do seven times in his last ten appearances. Diaz has scored in his last two games and is 3.0.

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