By Anthony Onifade

19th May, 2023 | 2:00pm

Aston Villa: Omens look promising for Ollie Watkins to break barren spell as Liverpool stat emerges

Aston Villa will be looking to strengthen their push for a European place in the Premier League when they visit Liverpool at Anfield and the omens look promising one Villa Park favourite.

Emery has superbly transformed things on the pitch at Villa Park since taking the reins back in November, so far leading the club to eighth in the Premier League after 14 wins from 23 top-flight games – a significant upturn in results from when they sat in the bottom three before his appointment.

During that tremendous run, the Villans have certainly shown they’ve got what it takes to match with the elite sides in the division, recording wins against Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea and Newcastle throughout Emery’s tenure.

Aston Villa will be looking to claim another unprecedented scalp against one of the division’s best and most in-form sides in Jurgen Klopp’s men who have won seven-successive games on the spin as they chase a Champions League spot.

Emery’s men were impressive in their 2-1 win over Tottenham last weekend though the Spaniard will certainly have concerns over the performance of his key hitman Ollie Watkins.

The England international has now gone five games without scoring after his stunning purple patch which saw him score 11 goals from 12 Premier League games.

Since that terrific purple patch, his form and performances have significantly tailed off and his performance against Spurs on Saturday certainly through up major concerns about his long-term consistencies over a single campaign.

Despite Emery urging Watkins to play more centrally since his arrival at Villa Park, this latest performance highlighted the need for him to drift into the wider channels a touch more and influence the game more on a regular basis.

As per SofaScore, Watkins only managed to record seven successful passes out of 13, only registered four duels won, lost possession of the ball ten times and more strikingly failed to register a single shot on goal in a rather drab performance against the Lillywhites.

With Aston Villa desperately needing a win to claim a European spot for next season, Emery will certainly need to find a formula at Anfield to get his front-man firing again. And according to one particular stat that emerged on Thursday [18 May], the omens look good for Watkins to break that worrying barren spell.

According to Aston Villa Statto, the 27-year-old has scored more Premier League goals against Liverpool than he has against any other opponent in the division (5). In fact, he is on course to break a particular record should he score at Anfield on Saturday afternoon.

Having already scored home and away Premier League goals against the Reds in 2020-21, Watkins could become the first Aston Villa player to do so in multiple campaigns in the competition.

If looking to break that record doesn’t provide Watkins with all the incentives he needs to pick up his form again then Emery will be having sleepless nights about getting his main man to fire them in again.

It’s no secret that Aston Villa will be on the hunt for a striker to relieve all the pressure on Watkins beyond this summer, but this Sunday presents an opportunity for Watkins to endear himself to Villa Park folklore.

In other Aston Villa news, the future of this loanee hangs in the balance as contract talks await.