Premier League action resumes following the World Cup break when Liverpool travel to Villa Park to take on Aston Villa on Boxing Day, 17:30 kick-off.
It’s safe to say it was a hugely disappointing start to the 2022/23 campaign from Liverpool. They went into the new season expecting to once again battle it out with Manchester City for the title. However, a run of just four wins from their opening 12 games left the Merseysiders languishing down in mid-table at one stage.
Jurgen Klopp managed to rally his troops and secured back-to-back victories over Tottenham and Southampton before domestic football paused for the World Cup in early November. But Liverpool are still sitting sixth in the Premier League table – 15 points off leaders Arsenal and 10 behind second-placed City – so a title charge looks an unrealistic aim.
Instead, Klopp will be focussed on getting the Reds back into the top four. Liverpool are seven points off fourth-placed Tottenham but have a game in hand on the North Londoners, so it’s no surprise that bookmakers still back the Anfield club to finish at least fourth this season.
Liverpool will be desperate to close the gap with a win on Boxing Day but they’ll be up against an Aston Villa side who appear to have also turned a corner. The Villans have improved since Unai Emery replaced Steven Gerrard as manager and went into the break off the back of two wins which moved them up to 12th place – just four points behind Liverpool.
There should be plenty of action in the betting markets for this match and it’s important to choose the bookmaker. Many betting sites use turnkey casino services that ensure they have top-quality software and are able to provide a range of gambling opportunities for their users. In this match, fans can bet on a variety of betting lines such as match odds, correct score, first goal-scorer and over/under bets.
The most straightforward option is to back the winner of the game and Liverpool are the 8/11 favourites to claim all three points at Villa Park. Aston Villa can be backed at odds of 7/2 while the draw is available at 29/10.
For those who want to be a bit more adventurous, we can look at predicting the correct score. Liverpool are expected to win and a 2-1 away victory can be backed at odds of 13/2. If we add Mohamed Salah as the first scorer in a 2-1 Liverpool win, the odds increase to 38/1.
The World Cup break actually came at a good time for Liverpool as they’ve been dealing with a lengthy injury list during the opening months of the new season. Several players are now back to full fitness but Klopp is still without at least three players.
Luis Diaz was scheduled to return in the New Year but the attacker suffered a setback in his recovery from a knee injury and is now facing another spell on the sidelines.
Diogo Jota is still working his way back to fitness from a calf muscle injury and won’t feature against Villa, while Arthur Melo is another absentee for the Reds.
Aston Villa will continue to be without Diego Carlos as the defender is out with a long-term muscle injury while former Liverpool star Philippe Coutinho is also expected to miss out.
It will be interesting to see how the teams perform following the World Cup interruption. It’s likely to take some time before teams are back to their best form after the enforced break, but Liverpool will still be confident of winning this match.
Villa are more solid under Emery and have the players to cause Liverpool problems, especially on home soil. However, the likes of Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino are well rested having not featured in Qatar, and we expect the Merseysiders to edge it on Boxing Day. Aston Villa 1-2 Liverpool