Aston Villa vs Liverpool Match Preview (1 Viewer)

JurgenKOP

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On Monday evening, Aston Villa and Liverpool clash at Villa Park in a showdown between third and fourth place in the Premier League standings.

Liverpool has already secured Champions League qualification for next season, making this match Jurgen Klopp's final away game of the campaign. Meanwhile, Aston Villa has the chance to join them in Europe's top competition if they secure maximum points.

Despite Aston Villa's previous European success under Unai Emery, they fell short in this season's Europa Conference League, losing to Olympiacos in the semifinals. Olympiacos' Ayoub El Kaabi proved to be a nightmare for Villa's defenders, scoring a brace in the second leg to secure his team's place in the final against Fiorentina.

Aston Villa's recent form has been inconsistent, with losses to Olympiacos and Brighton & Hove Albion in the Premier League. However, they have never lost four consecutive matches under Emery's management.

Although Tottenham Hotspur's win over Burnley delayed Aston Villa's chance to secure fourth place, they remain four points ahead of Spurs. A victory against Liverpool would solidify their return to European competition.

However, Aston Villa's home form has dipped since their impressive 15-game winning streak at Villa Park. Emery's side has only won three of their last eight Premier League matches at home, but they have yet to suffer consecutive league defeats in the 2023-24 season.

Liverpool, under Klopp's guidance, demolished Tottenham Hotspur in their last outing, showcasing their attacking prowess. Despite falling short in the title race, Liverpool aims to maintain their unbeaten streak in May, a run that dates back to 2018.

Although Aston Villa shocked Liverpool with a 7-2 victory earlier in the season, the Reds have dominated recent encounters, winning convincingly at Anfield and boasting 16 away victories against Villa in the Premier League.

INJURIES & SUSPENSION​

Although Emiliano Martinez, the first-choice goalkeeper, was cleared to play against Olympiacos midweek, the same cannot be said for Youri Tielemans (groin), Alex Moreno, and Nicolo Zaniolo, who all need late fitness assessments. Morgan Rogers may see his season cut short due to a hamstring injury suffered in the Brighton defeat, while Emiliano Buendia, Tyrone Mings, Boubacar Kamara, and Jacob Ramsey are confirmed absentees.

This leaves Aston Villa with limited options for changes, mainly relying on young academy talents like 20-year-old midfielder Tim Ireogbunam, who has made one Premier League start this season. However, Clement Lenglet could offer a fresh defensive option.

Regarding Liverpool's lineup, there are no changes on the fitness front, with Diogo Jota, Ben Doak, Bobby Clark, Thiago Alcantara, and Joel Matip still sidelined. Although Robertson was absent from recent training pictures, he was present at the AXA facility on Friday and is expected to be available. Kostas Tsimikas and Joe Gomez are ready as backups if needed.

Jurgen Klopp is likely to give Harvey Elliott more playing time in midfield, as he expressed regret over not playing him enough this season. Additionally, Cody Gakpo is expected to start over Darwin Nunez, whose future at Liverpool has been the subject of speculation after he deleted most Liverpool-related content from his Instagram account.

POSSIBLE LINE-UPS​

Aston Villa possible starting lineup:
Martinez; Cash, Torres, Lenglet, Digne; Diaby, Luiz, McGinn, Bailey; Duran, Watkins

Liverpool possible starting lineup:
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Quansah, Van Dijk, Robertson; Elliott, Endo, Mac Allister; Salah, Gakpo, Diaz

EXPERT PREDICTION​

Aston Villa 2-4 Liverpool

Fans might barely have settled into their seats before witnessing the first goal on Monday, considering the trend in recent Villa-Liverpool encounters at Villa Park where the deadlock has been broken within the first five minutes in the last four games.

This time, it's likely that Jurgen Klopp's side will profit from any early goals, especially given Aston Villa's injury woes. With Villa dealing with physical and mental exhaustion following their unsuccessful European campaign, they'll have to wait a bit longer to secure a spot above Tottenham in the standings.
 

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