Both of these sides were dumped out of the League Cup this week, with Villa going down 1-0 at home to Stoke, while Liverpool went out on penalties hosting Arsenal.
However, they’ve each made excellent starts to their respective league campaigns, maintaining a perfect record between them as Villa have won twice and Liverpool three times already.
Something has to give then and it’s hard to look past Jurgen Klopp’s champions. Whereas Villa have downed Sheffield Utd 1-0 at home and battered promoted outfit Fulham 3-0 on the road, Liverpool survived a scare against a dangerous Leeds outfit before navigating tricky fixtures with Chelsea and Arsenal with assuredness.
Villa may have got a win over Liverpool in the FA Cup last term, but effectively they faced the Under 23’s as Klopp’s first team were off in Doha competing for the Club World Cup. Unsurprisingly, Liverpool won the two league encounters and in fact, they’ve emerged triumphant in a thoroughly consistent 38 of 40 encounters with bottom-half teams over the past two campaigns.
However, given they failed to register clean sheets in 13 of the last 21 of these, as well as conceding in nine of the last 15 such matches on their travels, there could be some value in backing the hosts to bag a consolation effort.
Liverpool To Win And Both Teams To Score
Indeed, Villa opened the scoring when hosting Liverpool last term and quite regularly found the net when facing the better teams. Up against the top eight in the table, they scored in 11 of 16 matches, though they still lost 14 of these games as nine saw their opponents both win and concede.
In fact, at Villa Park alone, Dean Smith’s side lost despite scoring in five of six encounters with the top six in the table.
Liverpool may not have enjoyed the greatest time on their travels in 2020 so far. However, four of their five defeats on the road have been inflicted by Atletico Madrid, Chelsea, Man City and Arsenal, all of whom are clearly a cut above the Villans.
They also switched off somewhat after the Premier League title was effectively theirs, but their performances in the new campaign suggests they’ve put that poor form firmly behind them.
Still, both teams to score looks strong and it’s paid out in seven of Liverpool’s last eight league matches. The exception did come this term against Chelsea, though it’s worth noting that the Blues suffered a red card on the stroke of half-time and missed a second-half penalty.
Liverpool are clearly the team to beat this year on the early evidence of the season, but their defence isn’t as impregnable as some might think.