Liverpool v Aston Villa- Match Preview
They also share common ground in that they have found the expectations difficult to handle with both sides yet to truly hit top gear.
Liverpool have encouragement though to believe that Rodgers’s ideas may be finally getting across with their side looking to win their third match on the bounce on Saturday.
Aston Villa have cause for optimism too, having reached the League cup semi-final midweek and they are starting to collect points to lift them away from the drop zone, slowly but surely.
A trip to Anfield is not exactly a fixture they would have been looking for right now though in their mini revival.
Luis Suarez returns from his one match suspension at West Ham to bolster the Reds. Jose Enrique was taken off in last weekend’s resurgent comeback against the Hammers with a precautionary hamstring injury and should be fit to play, but Downing is expected to start instead. Nuri Sahin could also be set to return to the fold after a spell out. Martin Kelly and Fabio Borini remain away from action for a significant period of time.
Paul Lambert has an ever-growing injury list which will be a concern for the Villa boss. Joe Bennett (knee) missed Tuesday’s Capital One Cup win over Norwich City could feature. Captain Ron Vlaar (calf) and Enda Stevens (ankle) are unlikely to recover after spells on the sidelines.
Darren Bent was forced off at Carrow Road as his manager made the admission that he expect the England international to be out for four weeks. Dunne and Gardener are still long term absentees.
If Stewart Downing plays this could be a lucky omen for the Reds with him overdue a goal and his last Premier League goal was in this fixture for Aston Villa against Liverpool.