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Aston Villa may not be dropping down the league table just yet but they are allowing the chasing pack to make up considerable ground and if Paul Lambert's men don't start scoring soon they will be in the relegation zone before too long.
Liverpool are now unbeaten in five in the league and the return of Sterling and, potentially, Daniel Sturridge will have the home fans fearing another reverse this weekend.
With some key players likely to be back in the fold and the likes of Markovic and Coutinho finding form the visitors should be favourites to return to Merseyside with a narrow but comfortable win.
- Raheem Sterling returns from a club-sanctioned break to rejoin the attack against Aston Villa and could return to a wide berth with Fabio Borini leading the line again.
- Steven Gerrard has a slight hamstring injury and may not be risked, with Jordan Henderson able to move infield, while Adam Lallana is ahead of schedule in his recovery from injury and may be in contention.
- Daniel Sturridge has trained this week and though he may not be fit enough to start he is likely to be in the squad for the trip to Villa.
Aston Villa News:
- As has been the case for some time for Aston Villa, when one player returns from suspension - this time it's Fabian Delph - another has picked up a ban, with Ciaran Clark becoming the fifth Villa player to be sent off this season.
- With Ron Vlaar sidelined for around a month and Philippe Senderos still struggling with a calf injury, fit again Nathan Baker should partner Okore at the back, becoming Villa's ninth different centre-back combination of the season.
- New signing Carles Gil should go straight into the squad for Saturday's game and may even be pushing for a starting berth given Villa's woeful record in the attaking third.