Predicted Liverpool XI to play Aston Villa - Sakho to return but Sturridge to miss out

Match to be played on Saturday 18th January 2014 at 17:30. Venue: Anfield, Liverpool.

Liverpool host Aston Villa in a difficult Saturday game as they look to close the gap on the sides above them.

Brendan Rodgers’ men are currently six points off of Arsenal in first place and four points away from the closest team to them in the Premier League table, Chelsea.

Rodgers has some big decisions to make in terms of who starts, with key players fighting to get back into the team.

Here’s the eleven he may select to face Villa.

GK – Simon Mignolet

Mignolet has been a consistent performer for the club this season. He’s sometimes made a couple of errors under pressure but he’s predominantly playing well in all aspects.

RB – Glen Johnson

Johnson is one of the most experienced right-backs in the Premier League. He gives Liverpool a good balance whether he’s getting forward in attack or doing his basic job in defence.

CB – Martin Skrtel

For all the defensive options Rodgers has, one of the constants has been Martin Skrtel. He provides leadership and authority across the back four.

CB – Mamadou Sakho

Sakho has been out of the side in recent weeks but this is a chance for him to come back into the starting team. He’s extremely good on the ball and reads the play well and the side have missed him.

LB – Aly Cissokho

Cissokho finds himself in the position where the two main rivals to his place in the team are both injured. He seems to be relishing the chance to be a main part of the back four and his confidence bodes well for this game.

RM – Raheem Sterling

Sterling provides pace in wide areas, which is important against Aston Villa. Villa’s wide men will get forward which will create a lot of space for Sterling to run into throughout the game.

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DM – Lucas

Lucas has been superb this season roaming the gap between the team’s defence and midfield. He moves the ball on quickly to more creative players and gets forward when Liverpool are on top.

CM – Jordan Henderson

Henderson deserves the right to start every game in Liverpool’s midfield at the moment because he’s been arguably their best middle man. Expect to see him as the player rotating with others in a variety of positions.

AM – Steven Gerrard

Gerrard provides experience and leadership in the middle of the team. The side will look to him if the game doesn’t go according to plan but he has the ability to control the pace and direction of the match. He’s perfectly suited to play in behind Luis Suarez.

LM – Philippe Coutinho

Coutinho may start on the left but he won’t stay there when Cissokho has the time and space to get forward. He’s world class cutting in from the left hand side and is difficult to mark as he drifts across various midfield positions.

ST – Luis Suarez

Suarez will lead the attack and will just be looking to cause chaos. Liverpool will try and get the ball to him as quickly as possible so he can turn at the Villa defence.

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