Sadio Mane and Virgil van Dijk of Liverpool celebrates scoring the first goal during the Premier League match at Anfield, Liverpool. (Image: Andrew Yates / Sportimage)

Sadio Mane can spoil Steven Gerrard’s day vs. Liverpool’s favourite opponents

Sadio Mane‘s impeccable scoring record could be the key as Liverpool take on Steven Gerrard‘s Aston Villa, as Jurgen Klopp and James Milner eye a landmark afternoon.

Mane has scored eight goals in his eight career appearances against Villa, netting four times in four games while with the Reds.

He has scored in seven of his last nine Anfield league appearances.

Liverpool’s No. 10 still holds the record for the Premier League‘s fastest-ever hat-trick, that being for Southampton against Aston Villa in May 2015, netting three in two minutes, 56 seconds in a 6-1 win.


The return of the Gerrard

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - Sunday, December 5, 2021: Aston Villa's manager Steven Gerrard (R) speaks with Matty Cash after the FA Premier League match between Aston Villa FC and Leicester City FC at Villa Park. Aston Villa won 2-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Gerrard returns to Anfield for the first time in a competitive fixture since leaving Liverpool in 2015.

He made 710 appearances for the Reds (504 in the league) with 120 of his 186 goals coming in the league.

Gerrard played 27 times against Villa in his career, losing just five, including each of his final two encounters.

Only Robbie Fowler with 14, has scored more goals against Villa for Liverpool in all games than Gerrard who netted 13, while only Jamie Carragher (31) played more times for the club against today’s opponents than Gerrard’s 27.

The 13 goals scored against Villa was Gerrard’s highest tally against a single club.


Favourite opponents

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, April 10, 2021: Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold celebrates after scoring the second goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Aston Villa FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Converting to three points for a win, Liverpool have won more points against Aston Villa in their history (310) than in encounters with any other league team.

Everton are next with 305.

They have also scored more league goals in their history (331) against Villa than they have against any other team.

However, only Man United (12) and Chelsea (7) of all visiting teams have won more times at Anfield than Villa in the Premier League (six) although Arsenal have also won six.

Villa have won three of the last nine league visits, with Gerrard being in the Liverpool team on each occasion.


Klopp’s landmark

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, November 20, 2021: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp celebrates after the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Arsenal FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 4-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

A win will see Klopp break the 500 points landmark as a manager in the Premier League. The win at Wolves took him to 498 points.

Should Liverpool score they will equal the club record of finding the net in 31 successive games in all competitions set previously from April 1957 to January 1958.

They last failed to score in the home draw against Real Madrid in April.


Milner climbs up the charts

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 18, 2021: Liverpool's James Milner during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Crystal Palace FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 3-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Should Milner make an appearance he will move into outright fourth place on the Premier League’s all-time appearance list.

It will be his 573rd – bettered only by Gareth Barry (653), Ryan Giggs (632) and Frank Lampard (609).

Milner played 126 times for Villa in league and cup in a spell from 2008 to 2010 which followed a loan spell at the club in 2005/06. He scored 22 goals.

He scored his first Liverpool goal against Villa in September 2015.


Supersub Origi

WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - Saturday, December 4, 2021: Liverpool's Divock Origi celebrates after scoring an injury time winning goal during the FA Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers FC and Liverpool FC at Molineux Stadium. Liverpool won 1-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Divock Origi came off the bench to score the winner at Wolves a week ago, on his 100th substitute appearance for the club, and in doing so became the joint-highest scoring Liverpool sub in league history.

Both he and Daniel Sturridge have 10.

That Origi goal was the 39th time in the Premier League era that the Reds have scored a winning goal in the 90th minute or later.


A rarity

This will be the first time since May 2007 that Liverpool will have kicked off at 3 pm in the Premier League for a third consecutive Saturday.


Liverpool on form

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, December 1, 2021: Liverpool's Diogo Jota (hidden) celebrates with team-mates after scoring the fourth goal during the FA Premier League match between Everton FC and Liverpool FC, the 239th Merseyside Derby, at Goodison Park. Liverpool won 4-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool have now scored in each of their 25 league games since the 1-0 defeat to Fulham at Anfield last March.

In their last 20 games, the Reds have scored 60 times.

Since the loss at West Ham last month they have won six in a row in all competitions, conceding just twice while scoring 17.


Today’s referee

Stuart Attwell has taken charge of Villa this season in their 3-0 loss at Chelsea and in Liverpool’s 3-3 draw at Brentford.

He sent off Anwar El Ghazi at Leeds in 2019.


This season’s scorers

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, November 20, 2021: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah celebrates after scoring the third goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Arsenal FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool: Salah 20, Jota 9, Mane 9, Firmino 6, Origi 5, Minamino 4, Keita 3, Henderson 3, Thiago 2, Alexander-Arnold 1, Fabinho 1, Jones 1, Van Dijk 1, own goals 1

Aston Villa: Archer 4, Watkins 4, El Ghazi 3, Ings 3, McGinn 3, Konsa 2, Bailey 1, Buendia 1, Cash 1, Hause 1, Guilbert 1, Mings 1, J.Ramsey 1, Targett 1, own goals 1

* Stats courtesy of LFC statistician Ged Rea (@ged0407).