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Liverpool vs. Aston Villa: Date, Time, Live Stream, TV Info and Preview

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 01:  Luis Suarez of Liverpool in action with Adam Lallana of Southampton during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Southampton at Anfield on December 1, 2012 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Chris Brunskill/Getty Images)
Chris Brunskill/Getty Images
Tim DanielsFeatured ColumnistDecember 13, 2012

Liverpool hope to push their winning streak to four when they take on Aston Villa. The Reds have made serious progress toward getting back on track since the calendar turned to December and now must build off that momentum.

Villa have been playing well, too. They are unbeaten over their past five matches, including an impressive 4-1 Cup victory over Norwich City on Tuesday. Having to fight through numerous injuries will make it tough to keep the streak alive, though.

While both clubs have improved in recent weeks, they still aren't where they would like to be in the table. Liverpool is in 10th and Villa sits just outside the relegation zone, so both sides will need to remain in form to continue their respective climbs.

Here's a look at the key viewing information for Saturday's match followed by some players to keep an eye on as Liverpool battles Aston Villa.

 

Where: Anfield in Liverpool, England

When: Saturday, Dec. 15 at 10 a.m. ET

Watch: Fuel TV

Live Stream: Fox Soccer 2Go

 

Liverpool Player to Watch: Steven Gerrard

Gerrard is well off his usual goal-scoring pace with just one league tally as the season's halfway point approaches. The Liverpool captain has taken on more of a distribution role in the midfield this season, allowing Luis Suarez to do the heavy lifting up front.

The 32-year-old star has watched his role change several times during his time at Anfield, but has always found a way to excel. The same holds true now. Even though he hasn't scored as much, he's still as reliable as they come.

On Saturday, it's Gerrard's job to set the pace. Villa have been slowing things down in recent matches to take some pressure off their shaky back line. The Reds need to strive for an early tally to open the match up, which would give them the edge.

 

Aston Villa Player to Watch: Christian Benteke

Darren Bent is dealing with a hamstring injury, meaning the onus will fall on Benteke to lead the attack against Liverpool. He scored Villa's final goal and added two assists in the Capitol One Cup triumph over Norwich earlier in the week.

His signing over the summer flew under the radar but has turned out to be a great move for Villa. He's made a seamless transition to the Premier League from the Belgian Pro League, and he should only continue to improve from here.

One thing the 22-year-old Belgian international must work on is his consistency. As is often the case with young players, he tends to drift in and out of matches. But when he's being aggressive in the attacking third, he's fun to watch.

 

Matchup to Watch: Luis Suarez vs. Villa defenders

Suarez is set to return to the Reds' lineup after a one-match ban that forced him to miss last weekend's win against West Ham. He's been the club's best attacking option, by far, with 10 goals in 15 games. Often times, he's been a one-man wrecking crew.

The break might have done him some good, though. He hasn't scored in his last five appearances, which qualifies as a slump for a player with his track record. Having some time off to regroup should pay dividends for the striker.

Villa know the biggest key to beating Liverpool is stopping Suarez from taking over the match. No single player can do it alone. It must be a collaborative effort across the back line, and even that might not be enough to slow him down.

 

Prediction

Liverpool 2, Aston Villa 1

 

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