Villa boss Dean Smith could capitalise on the right-back’s forward-thinking mind to lay siege to Liverpool’s goal, he said.
The Reds face a trip south to Villa Park this weekend, knowing that title-rivals Manchester City will be playing at home to Southampton at the same time.
A win for Liverpool would guarantee their six-point gap – at least – at the top of the table is maintained.
While the England international is exceptional going forwards, he has a tendency to leave gaps at the back… which Villa could expose.
“It is a cracking Saturday full of entertaining games. Liverpool have been getting over the line, which doesn’t win you titles quite yet, but it does later down the line,” Nicholas told Sky Sports.
“There is something quite weird about Aston Villa – they are good going forward, but their weakness lies at the back.
“Liverpool have so many fantastic players, especially the front three. If one is off, it is no major disruption, but the midfield you can get at, hence why Jurgen Klopp changes it.
“When the full-backs are up and Liverpool play the high-press, they will win as nobody can get out.
“Villa do not like to be overly cautious or tactical – they want John McGinn and Jack Grealish on the ball, with the energy and drive to find the gaps that Liverpool will leave open.
“It could be Trezeguet who could hurt Liverpool, especially in these wide areas.
“Everybody has seen with Trent Alexander-Arnold that he is unbelievable going forward but can leave gaps at the back, so how do you expose it?
“It is the wide areas where Liverpool can win and lose games, and this area could be damaging for Villa, who will try and play. This will suit Liverpool and they will pick them off.”
Nicholas still expects Liverpool to beat the Villans this weekend, however. He predicted a 3-1 away win for Klopp.
The Reds’ biggest challenge of the season will come next weekend, when they host City at Anfield in the Premier League.
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