Aston Villa vs. Liverpool: Preview and TV schedule

Scott Heavey

Aston Villa have shown promise in their opening Premier League games, hosting Liverpool at Villa Park next.

Aston Villa opened the season with an impressive 3-1 win over Arsenal, before only narrowly being beaten by Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in mid-week. Completing an unenviably difficult season opening trio of games is this weekend's match at home to Liverpool, who beat Stoke City by a single goal in their only Premier League fixture to date.

Though Liverpool should be favourites for this game -- they did, after all, finish eight places higher than their opponents last season -- Villa's start to the season has suggested this game could be close. The Villans' striker Christian Benteke has looked in immense form so far, scoring three goals in the opening two games, and is part of a young team expected to finish much higher up the table this season.

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert may be forced into a change from the side that lost 2-1 to Chelsea, with Ciaran Clark being substituted off with a head injury. Danish centre-back Jores Okore could make his first start in Clark's place. Defender Nathan Baker is still doubtful with an ankle injury, while Chris Herd could miss out again with a calf problem. Charles N'Zogbia is still unavailable.

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers is more fortunate, with only Uruguayan centre-back Sebastián Coates out injured. He suffered a knee injury on international duty, and looks set to miss most of the season. Luis Suárez still faces five games on the sidelines through suspension.

Aston Villa injuries and suspensions

Out: Charles N'Zogbia (Achilles). In doubt: Ciaran Clark (head), Nathan Baker (ankle) and Chris Herd (calf).

Liverpool injuries and suspensions

Out: Sebastian Coates (knee), Luis Suárez (suspension). In doubt: None.

Projected lineups

Aston Villa: Brad Guzan; Antonio Luna, Jores Okore, Ron Vlaar, Matthew Lowton; Fabian Delph, Ashley Westwood, Karim El Ahmadi; Gabriel Agbonlahor, Christian Benteke, Andreas Weimann

Liverpool: Simon Mignolet; José Enrique, Daniel Agger, Kolo Touré, Glen Johnson; Jordan Henderson, Lucas Leiva, Steven Gerrard; Philippe Coutinho, Daniel Sturridge, Iago Aspas

Match Date/Time: Saturday, 5:30 p.m. local, 12:30 p.m. ET

Venue: Villa Park, Birmingham, England

TV: NBC (U.S.), RDS, NBC, TSN2 (Canada), Sky Sports 1/HD (U.K.)

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