Aston Villa have won three of their last four Premier League matches since swapping Steven Gerrard for the experienced Unai Emery. Next they’ll host Liverpool, who come into this after that entertaining game at the Etihad in midweek.
You can crack down on all the stats below for goals, shots, corners, fouls, cards and brand new passing in order to pick some winning selections for your bet builders. You can also access my Stats Pack Guide to help you out by clicking here.
Aston Villa are expected to line-up in a 4-4-2 slash 4-2-2-2 formation as they did during their 2-1 win at Brighton before the break for the World Cup. Danny Ings scored a brace in that one and he should start on Boxing Day.
Villa will have Robin Olsen in net for this one as Emi Martinez is still away celebrating understandably. They’ll also be without Diego Carlos and Philippe Coutinho.
Liverpool are being crushed by injuries at the minute with Diogo Jota, Luis Diaz and Roberto Firmino all being ruled out. As well as that, James Milner will likely be unavailable as he suffered a hamstring injury at Man City in the week.
They could start with the same front three that started at the Etihad Stadium, Carvalho, Nunez and Salah.
Aston Villa haven’t been amazing so far this season but they’ve definitely shown signs of improvement since swapping Steven Gerrard for the more exotic Unai Emery. They’ve won their last two league games going into this.
I’m not overly impressed with Villa in front of goal and they don’t create tonnes of chances. One thing that does stand out is their disciplinary record. They’re averaging 2.54 cards per game and have the worst discipline in the Premier League (37 yellows, 1 red).
Liverpool are slightly underperforming when it comes to their xGF, but scoring 2 goals P/90 on average isn’t too shabby. 17 shots a game with over 6 on target is good going too, you’re always going to have every chance with that chance creation. 7.50 corners per game is high.
Player shots and shots on target
Look no further than Danny Ings and Ollie Watkins if you’re wanting a shot on target for Aston Villa, they’re the standouts for accuracy with 1.24 and 1.15 on target P/90 respectively. They also average over 2 attempts at goals P/90.
I always think Jacob Ramsey is good value for a single shot, he occasionally takes lung bursting runs into dangerous areas.
Darwin Nunez is a shots machine and he’s also proven himself to be very accurate. 5.82 shots P/90 with 2.39 on target, over the course of 10 appearances, is very impressive.
Firmino and Salah should be fresh and well up for this, they’ve posted good numbers throughout the season. Firmino has arguably been one of Liverpool’s most important players despite it starting to look as if there was little need for him.
Player goals and assists
Danny Ings has been Aston Villa’s best player this season as far as goals are concerned. He’s another Villa player who’ll be going up against their former club.
Leon Bailey, Ollie Watkins, and Jacob Ramsey have shown bouts of creativity as each of them have at least a couple of goals as well as assists to their name.
Surprisingly to an extent, Firmino has been the play producing impressive numbers in front of goal. He’s outperforming prolific teammates Mo Salah and Darwin Nunez with 7 goals and 3 assists in just 13 appearances.
His teammates have done quite well though it must be said, Salah and Nunez have provided 11 goals and 5 assists between them.
Aston Villa cards
Aston Villa are such a good side to back for cards, and they have a group of players who always seem to be reliable culprits. The likes of McGinn, Ramsey, Mings, Young and Cash. All bet builder favourites who’ve handed Villa the title of the dirtiest side in the Premier League as things stand.
Match-ups to watch:
Matty Cash vs Fabio Carvalho
John McGinn vs Thiago Alacantra
Tyrone Mings vs Darwin Nunez
To be quite frank, Liverpool aren’t the best side to be backing for a card. More so at home I’d say in fairness, because of how much of the ball they dominate, it doesn’t make them susceptible to anything rash or worth being carded for.
The meeting between Aston Villa and Liverpool is a meeting of one team who has the worst disciplinary record in the Premier League, and another who’s one of the most well behaved.
Match-Ups to watch:
Trent AA vs Emi Buendia
Fabinho vs Jacob Ramsey
Darwin Nunez vs Tyrone Mings
Aston Villa players don’t average an extraordinary amount of passes, there’s only four of them who are doing 50+ P/90, it’s Luca Digne who’s leading the way by a small margin. Villa have averaged 48% possession per game so far this season, it’s hard to image them having that against Liverpool who average 62% per game.
Take your pick from Liverpool’s defence, they’ve been producing a huge number of passes. Trent at 90+ from right back is ridiculous, but he is a player who sees a great deal of the ball in Jurgen Klopp’s system. Andy Robertson, his teammate on the opposite side, isn’t too far behind with 82.3 passes P/90.
Centre halves Van Dijk and Gomez see a lot of the ball too.