With Barclays Premier League points a priority, Alex McLeish’s Aston Villa will provide stiff opposition for Liverpool at Villa Park this Sunday.
The match will provide an indicator of how important it is for both teams to splash the cash in the over inflated January transfer window. Liverpool need three points to bolster their Champions League ambitions, whilst McLeish has steadied the Villains and consolidated a mid-table position from which to build on.
With the signing of Shay Given, Big Eck has also strengthened a leaking rearguard, so it will be interesting to see how they fare without the Irish legend, who is consigned to the sidelines for a month.
Here are some stats ahead of the game:
- Darren Bent has scored three goals in his last four games against Kenny Dalglish’s team. This includes the famous beach ball goal as a Sunderland player at the Stadium of Light.
- Charlie Adam is a cross between Ray Houghton and Stevie McMahon, and has slotted in effortlessly and become a huge success during his debut season in Liverpool colours, just shading Lucas as the clubs mid year player of the year. Adam has made 17 clearances so far this season, the joint highest total for a midfielder in the league.
- The fixture saw the last Barclays Premier League goal scored by Stewart Downing, with the Liverpool wide man hitting the winner. The win last season was the first Villa home win against Liverpool in 13 attempts.
- Liverpool have converted the lowest percentage of shots into goals this season - (9 percent).
- Villa it seems are suspect at set pieces with Alex McLeish’s men conceding the highest percentage of goals from corners of any team in the top flight - (32 percent).
- This is not a fixture for cricket scores. Only five goals have been scored between both teams during their last five Villa Park encounters.
- In their last 12 home games against Liverpool, Villa have scored just four times against the Reds.
- In the creativity stakes Charlie Adam is second to David Silva with seven assists. In the Barclays Premier League this season he has also headed the table for most distance covered by a Red - 5.12 miles.
This is the ninth time the cultured Scot has covered more distance than any of his Liverpool team mates. Similarly, Marc Albrighton covered 6.4 miles during Villa’s 2-1 win against Bolton.
- With nine strikes, the absent Steven Gerrard has scored the most goals against the Villains than any other opponent.
- With 31 interceptions, James Collins holds the record over any other Barclays Premier League player.
- Liverpool’s frontline has had some rotten luck, having smashed the woodwork more times than any other Premier League team in 2011-12 - (15).
- Liverpool have drawn just one of their last 20 Barclays Premier League away matches.
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