This game week of the English Premier League has thrown up a couple of surprising top-of-the-table clashes. The first one is Chelsea vs. Swansea. The next one is Liverpool vs Aston Villa.
While hosts Liverpool have scored six points from three games, the Villans are sitting pretty in the third position, with seven points. As the Kop get ready to welcome new signing Mario Balotelli in his first match at Anfield, there are a few more that could make their debut in this game.
According to reports, £25 million signing Adam Lallana could make an appearance today, after he got injured just four days after signing for the Reds. Lallana had been sidelined with a knee injury for most of the preseason and the season openers. However, it is believed that he is fit to play. However, Rodgers might just refrain from playing him due to the lack of match fitness.
Meanwhile, Lallana's England teammate Daniel Sturridge has strained his thigh while on international duty, last week, and is set to be sidelined for two weeks at least. Also, left-back Alberto Moreno, who scored a specacular goal this season, is also set to play his first game at Anfield.
This means that Rodgers could be free to try out different sets of tactics. With Sturridge injured, Rodgers could go for just the one striker up front. Rodgers may well go with a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Balotelli leading the line, and Allen or Henderson playing in the hole behind him, while Coutinho and Sterling position themselves on the flanks.
However, if Rodgers does not want to shift from his tactic of playing two strikers up front, we may see Rickie Lambert. The former Southampton striker, who has been a Liverpool fan since he was a child, could finally see his dream of playing in front of the Kop come true from the start.
Liverpool, however, have by no means an easy task against the third-placed Aston Villa, who would be looking to Andreas Weimann to be their main threat up front. Weimann has scored two goals in the three opening matches, and is looking in good form ahead of the Merseyside clash.
Another factor in favour of the Birmingham outfit is their good record at Anfield. The Villans have scored nine times and lost only once, in their last five visits to Anfield, and with Liverpool's defence not looking particularly strong, there is a very high chance that they might run away with a point at least.
Where to Watch Live
The game is all set to kick off at 10 pm IST (5.30 pm BST, 12.30 pm ET). The match can be viewed on Star Sports 4 or Star Sports HD2 and via online live streaming in India HERE. UK viewers can watch the match HERE or HERE. Viewers from the US can stream the match HERE. Viewers from Australia can stream the match HERE, while audience from the Middle East and North Africa can stream it HERE. Viewers from the rest of Africa can live stream it HERE.