Kick-off: 1945, 17/12/2019
Stadium: Villa Park
TV: Sky Sports
Liverpool’s involvement in the Club World Cup means they are set to field what will be pretty much a youth team for their EFL Cup quarter-final at Aston Villa.
The home side will be keen to boost morale following three straight Premier League defeats, so are unlikely to show those youngsters any mercy in the Midlands.
We like 17/10 for Dean Smith’s men to prevail by more than two clear goals for our initial Aston Villa vs Liverpool prediction.
A Look At Aston Villa’s Betting Odds
Smith has fielded strong teams in earlier rounds of this competition, starting off with a 6-1 romp at Crewe, where Conor Hourihane bagged a brace.
Villa followed up with a 3-1 victory at Brighton, with Hourihane, Jota and Jack Grealish on the scoresheet.
Anwar El Ghazi and Ahmed Elmohamady then netted in a 2-1 triumph over Wolves, so everything suggests they are taking this competition seriously.
Smith is also confident Villa are in decent spirits, despite going down to Chelsea, Leicester and Sheffield United in top-flight fixtures this month.
He stated: “We’ve lost three games against teams who are in the top 10 and it’s a tough league. It just needs a bit of perspective.
“It’s only three games ago we came off the pitch at Old Trafford and were getting lauded for a really good performance (in a 2-2 draw) and that was after we dispatched Newcastle.”
The hosts have claimed three Premier League home wins since securing promotion, two of which were gained to nil.
Looking at the Aston Villa vs Liverpool odds, we reckon 7/5 they prevail without conceding here is fair value.
Hourihane missed Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at Sheffield United but Smith hopes the midfielder will be fit for this tie.
A Look At Liverpool’s Betting Odds
Liverpool’s first team were given a tough work-out at this venue in the league last month, trailing for a long time and only shading a 2-1 victory with late strikes by Andrew Robertson and Sadio Mane.
With Jurgen Klopp and the senior squad in Qatar for the Club World Cup, under-23s boss Neil Critchley will take charge of a very different line-up for this fixture.
Even teenagers Curtis Jones and Neco Williams were on Sunday’s plane. They had initially been expected to fly out after the Villa game, the team for which will as a result be even more weakened than anticipated.
Goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher, defender Sepp van den Berg, midfielder Harvey Elliott and forward Rhian Brewster featured in earlier rounds.
Dutch defender Ki-Jana Hoever, plus midfielders Herbie Kane and Pedro Chirivella have also been used during a 2-0 win at MK Dons or a 5-5 draw with Arsenal, when the Reds went through on penalties.
However, they were flanked by senior players filling the majority of the key positions in those games and must now fend for themselves instead.
There are sure to be some talented prospects among those academy youngsters, but this is a huge task for this collective group.
Let’s finish off our Aston Villa vs Liverpool betting tips by taking 33/4 for a 3-0 home win.
Sheff Utd 2-0 ASTON VILLA
LIVERPOOL 2-0 Watford – Mohamed Salah (2)
Head-to-head: Aston Villa 1-2 Liverpool
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