liverpool brendan rodgers
How will Brendan Rodgers [centre] instill confidence in his Liverpool army ahead of the game?Reuters

The pressure is on Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers as the Reds look to take on a struggling Aston Villa at Anfield in their seventh game of the English Premier League season.

Liverpool are without a win in their previous four league games, and following a bit of luck that helped them bag two wins on the trot in their first two fixtures, nothing has quite worked out for Rodgers' men.

And the performance against League 2 side Carlisle United in the League Cup third round on Wednesday doubles the worry. Liverpool won 3-2 on penalties, after failing to convert their chances in the 120 minutes of the game, as the game finished 1-1, following the end of normal and extra time.

Aston Villa, meanwhile, come to the game on the back of a 1-0 derby victory over Birmingham at Villa Park in their League Cup fixture in the midweek, as Rudy Gestede scored the winner. 

However, Villa have struggled in the Premier League this season, as they have earned just a win and a draw from their six games so far, and are currently just above the relegation zone.

Liverpool stay four places above them with eight points so far.

The Reds have a massive injury worry as star striker and former Aston Villa man Christian Benteke is out for the game, owing to a niggling hamstring injury, and regular skipper Jordan Henderson also remains on the sidelines. 

"I don't think Christian would be a threat sitting in the stand," Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood said. "My worry is not Christian, it's Liverpool - a sleeping giant who feel wounded and ready to come out and perform."

"We're also going to be ready for it. I'm not sure how many strikers they've actually got - probably six. They've got a lot of good strikers.

"Philippe Coutinho has been fantastic from start to finish since he's come into the Premier League.".

Roberto Firmino and Dejan Lovren are also out for Liverpool, and the worry for Rodgers grows more and more.

"You always want a fully-fit squad to pick from, but it's the nature of it," Rodgers said. "We have Jordan Henderson out as well, so you've got some really important players that are unavailable for us. But we'll manage it.

"The players that are selectable really want to play and fight for the team.

"We'll await those guys coming back. There's no timeline on Christian and the others – we'll see how they go over the coming weeks."

The Northern Irishman also added that the presence of English striker Daniel Sturridge in the Aston Villa game today might be a ray of hope. Sturridge made his return for the Reds in the previous Premier League game against Norwich, which ended 1-1.

"We're nurturing him," said Rodgers. "He had a good hour or so during our last game in the league.

"We've just got to manage him back into the games. But it's great to see him on the training field and the pitch and obviously he'll be available."

Team news: Liverpool: Christian Benteke (hamstring), Roberto Firmino (back injury), Dejan Lovren (ankle ligament injury), and Jordan Henderson (Metatarsal Fracture) are confirmed to miss the game.

Aston Villa: Gabriel Agbonlahor (calf injury) remains a major doubt for the game after he suffered a knock and was substituted at halftime in the League Cup game against Birmingham. Midfielder Idrissa Gueye could make an appearance today after recovering from a hamstring injury.

Expected lineups: Liverpool: Mignolet; Can, Skrtel, Sakho; Clyne, Milner, Lucas, Moreno; Coutinho; Ings, Sturridge.

Aston Villa: Guzan; Lescott, Richards, Bacuna, Amavi; Westwood, Veretout, Gana; Gill, Gestede, Grealish.

Where to Watch Live

Liverpool vs Aston Villa kicks off at 3pm BST (7.30 pm IST, 10 am ET).

India - Star Sports 2, with the live streaming option on and Hotstar.

UK - There will be no TV coverage of the game, but the radio commentary will be available on Absolute Radio.

US - NBC Sports Network (Premier League Extratime) and DirecTV will broadcast the game Live, and a live streaming option will be available on NBC Sports Live ExtraRadio commentary will be available on Westwood One Sports.

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