Soccer Picks: Aston Villa vs. Liverpool

Steven Suarez

Friday, August 23, 2013 3:17 PM GMT

Friday, Aug. 23, 2013 3:17 PM GMT

Will it be Steven Gerrard's Reds or Christian Benteke's Villans that come out victorious this weekend? Check out our Premier League odds rundown and preview for this match inside.


Odds Overview 

Villa Park plays host to this affair, but it's the Reds that are the favorites at an intriguing price of -105.

We have a sneaking suspicion there will be quite a few people backing Liverpool at such a price, but the public shouldn't overlook what Aston Villa has done so far. Getting them at near 3/1 for our soccer picks on their home surface looks rather juicy as well.

Aston Villa

Three points out of matches against Arsenal and Chelsea? We're sure Paul Lambert would have been thrilled with that notion before the season had started, but that's what the Villans have been able to do.

Shortly after an excellent 3-1 win over the Gunners, Aston Villa gave Chelsea all they could handle at Stamford Bridge, only to lose 2-1 in a tightly played contest.

Villa were unlucky not to get a late penalty call that would have evened up the score, and they had a host of other chances against Petr Cech and the Blues.

The goal came from none other than Christian Benteke, who made it three goals in two matches after a brace against Arsenal. Benteke was a constant menace for Chelsea's defense and will try to cause more problems and Daniel Agger and Kolo Toure on Saturday.

Lambert has made this Villa side much more of a contender it seems, with Gabriel Agbonlahor and Andreas Weimann joining up with Benteke to give the team some nice attacking threats. Fabian Delph was also very impressive in the recent loss to Chelsea.

Liverpool

The Reds began the 2013/14 campaign with a 1-0 victory over Stoke City, though they were unlucky not to win by a large score-line in truth.

Daniel Sturridge put Liverpool ahead in the first half and could have added more, but it was Coutinho that was pulling the strings all over the pitch. What a bargain he's turning out to be for the club.

At the same time, the tandem of Steven Gerrard and Lucas in holding roles seems to be working, while Toure made an impressive debut in the heart of the back-line.

Luis Suarez continues to train with the first team but remains suspended. That means we should see the same starting XI out there this weekend, with one potential change being Joe Allen picking up a start, perhaps in place of Jordan Henderson.

It's easy to tell though that the overall mood and spirit is in the right place at Liverpool right now. A good result at Villa Park would only add to those positive vibes. 

[gameodds]2/239502/?r-1=349/us[/gameodds]

Premier League Pick

The away team in each of last year's fixtures ended up winning, but we just don't see that happening again.

The atmosphere in the midlands will be rocking for Villa's first home clash, so Liverpool could have a difficult time finding the right tempo and controlling proceedings like they did versus Stoke City at Anfield.

It was a good debut for the Reds last week, but we expect a much tougher time against a Villans side that's already played two Premier League giants and fared quite well. We're going to recommend a draw at nearly +275 in the soccer odds.

Pick: Aston Villa 1 Liverpool 1 at Will Hill

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