GERARD HOULLIER will be given a warm welcome on his return to Anfield tonight but his Aston Villa side could be caught cold by an improving Liverpool.
The former Reds boss has enjoyed a stuttering start to life in Birmingham with his players picking up an average of a point a game.
That's not far off relegation form and Houllier has admitted it will take time to rebuild.
Liverpool have won three league games on the bounce at Anfield while struggling on their travels and I reckon they'll edge another victory.
Villa have lost five out of seven away games on the road and last season's 3-1 win at Anfield was their first there in 17 games.
Everything points to a Reds success even though they will be without skipper Steven Gerrard and defensive rock Jamie Carragher.
Villa, who miss banned Ashley Young, looked to me like they were bullied a bit by Birmingham in the midweek Carling Cup quarter-final and that's not a trait they've been recognised for lately.
Fernando Torres is 4-1 favourite for first goal but still isn't firing on all cylinders so consider Dirk Kuyt at 13-2 with Betfred.
I can't see much in this one and Ladbrokes offer 7-4 for under 2.5 goals while bet365 go 13-5 on Liverpool to win by one.
- Liverpool to win by one (13-5, bet365)