Match Preview: Aston Villa vs Liverpool

Liverpool are aiming to maintain their six-point lead at the top of the Premier League when they face Aston Villa on Saturday.

Klopp’s side come off the back of a 5-5 draw vs Arsenal on Wednesday, where the reds beat the gunners on penalties (5-4) to reach the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup.

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This season, only Manchester United have managed to take points off the reds with 28 points out of a possible 30.

Team News

Liverpool made 11 changes against Unai Emery’s men on Wednesday so you would expect the 11 to return to the side for the game on Saturday.

Joel Matip has been ruled out for around six weeks, with a knee problem, so Dejan Lovren is set to continue alongside Virgil van Dijk at the heart of Liverpool’s defence.

One concern for the reds, with Manchester City next up in the league, is the discipline of holding midfielder Fabinho.

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Fabinho is currently on four yellow cards and should he be booked against Villa, he will miss the clash with City next week.

This could force Klopp to rest Fabinho against Villa, in order to save him for the City game.

When asked about Fabinho, Klopp said; 

“It’s not possible against Aston Villa, playing without challenges in that position. You cannot ask for this. Player knows it, I know it.

“It’s information we have to deal with. Maybe he has to deal with it or I have to deal with it with the line-up.

“I didn’t make a decision yet, so we will see.”

Predicted XI

I expect Klopp to reinstate the 11 that missed the Arsenal match, even with Fabinho’s fifth yellow card a potential risk, I think Klopp will trust in the Brazilian not to get himself booked.

What to Expect

In recent Premier League history, Liverpool travelling to Villa Park has been a successful ground for the reds. 

Liverpool have won their last five meetings against Aston Villa with the last meeting ending in a 6-0 win in 2015/16, the season where Villa were relegated from the Premier League.

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Dean Smith side caused problems at Manchester City last weekend, breaking between the lines of midfield and defence which is something the reds will have to be wary of with the threat midfielder Jack Grealish possesses.

Prediction

I predict Liverpool to be too strong for this Villa side in a 2-0 win.

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