Liverpool can maintain a healthy lead at the top of the Premier League table by beating Aston Villa on Saturday. The Reds are six points clear of nearest rivals Manchester City and are expected to keep it that way by winning at Villa Park.
Villa are 15th but have shown some promise through 10 matches since being promoted from the Championship last season. The hosts have some useful players in attack, notably powerhouse centre-forward Wesley and wide forward John McGinn but will still be hoping creative fulcrum and skipper Jack Grealish is fully fit.
Liverpool should be close to full strength, but Mohamed Salah's fitness will be closely monitored. Meanwhile, Naby Keita may not make the squad after picking up a knock during Wednesday's dramatic penalty shootout win over Arsenal in the 2019 Carabao Cup fourth round.
Date: Saturday, November 2
Time: 3 p.m. GMT/11 a.m. ET
TV Info: NBC Sports Gold
Live Stream: NBC Sports App
- Villa: +780 (bet $780 to win $100)
- Liverpool: -280 (bet $100 to win $280)
- Draw: +400
Odds per Caesars.
Keita played for 55 minutes of the 5-5 draw with the Gunners at Anfield, but Jurgen Klopp confirmed the midfielder had to be withdrawn after picking up a knock, per Barry Cooper of the Birmingham Mail.
Liverpool should be well-stocked in the middle even if Keita can't feature. Fabinho, Georginio Wijnaldum and Jordan Henderson are the obvious options, with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Adam Lallana in reserve.
Klopp's more pressing concern will be the condition of Salah's ankle. The Egypt international limped off during the 2-1 win over Tottenham Hotspur last time out after initially taking a knock during a narrow victory against Leicester City.
Salah's pace and willingness to take shots on early are still key attributes in a front three also featuring Roberto Firmino's guile and the power of Sadio Mane. A Villa defence breached 16 times already will have trouble containing Liverpool in the final third.
Attack may be the best form of defence, so it's good news for the home side Dean Smith has confirmed Grealish is eager to be available for the game, per Sky Sports. Villa's dynamic No. 10 took a kick on the calf during the 3-1 defeat to Manchester City, but his footwork and vision are qualities Villa can ill afford to be without:
Even if Grealish is available to pull the strings, the leaders will have enough firepower to edge a tight game.