Aston Villa played Liverpool on the final day of last season, with Stewart Downing scoring the only goal of the game to ensure that the Midlands side finished in the top half of the Premier League despite flirting with relegation for much of the campaign.
Downing has since swapped sides and Reds supporters are still waiting for the England winger to score his first goal for the Merseyside club, although wouldn’t it just be typical if he came back to haunt his former club and bet365 (£200 free bets) offer 16/1 that the former Boro man breaks the deadlock.
Luis Suarez is the only player that is scoring on a regular basis for Liverpool at the moment, although Kenny Dalglish reacted spikily at any suggestion that his team are misfiring and William Hill (£25 free betting) offer even money that they claim a fifth win on the road.
Perhaps it will be the case that Pool collect more points away from home this term, considering that teams defend deep against them at Anfield. Even so, Andy Carroll’s poor form is a problem that refuses to go away and it will be interesting to see how many games he plays over the festive period.
Alex McLeish would probably appreciate the striker in his team, especially if he was able to lay on chances for Darren Bent, another player hoping to make the England squad for Euro 2012. It has been a frustrating time for the former Sunderland man this term, although it stems from a lack of chances coming his way.
Villa may not have a high win ratio this term, although odds of 3/1 about them claiming victory in this game is not a bad bet, especially as they come into the game having beaten Bolton 2-1 at the Reebok Stadium.