Aston Villa will head to the home of the Premier League Champions, Anfield today to take on Liverpool in a Saturday, 3 pm kick-off. Yes, that’s correct and not a typo!
I have seen many Liverpool fan pages and even some of their local newspapers describing this game as the ‘revenge mission’. Regardless of what happens today, our 7-2 victory will always be remembered purely because of their achievements over the last 2-3 seasons.
If you were to ask both managers, they would say they wish the second half of the season would have gone differently. Since the Covid outbreak at Bodymoor Heath in January, Villa appears to have lost their early-season momentum while Liverpool would have been many peoples favourites to keep the Premier League title this season.
Liverpool’s season has tailed off that much, they are now fighting to finish in the top four. It’s such a strange one because, on their day, they are still capable of beating anyone but they have struggled to reach those levels for some reason this campaign.
Their home form has been one of the issues. They haven’t won at Anfield since their 2-1 victory against Tottenham back at the start of December. And so the saying goes, “And then Villa role into town”.
The big news for Villa this week was the setback of our captain Jack Grealish. Despite early reports, it does seem (although not official) a reoccurrence of Grealish’s shin splits injury and he is set to miss out another few weeks at least.
Smith spoke about his captain’s injury earlier this week: “No, he’s not. Myself and Jack were quite optimistic to get him back a bit sooner than he probably should and he’s had a setback that will probably put him back a couple of weeks.
“He was really good in training, but he couldn’t tolerate the loading. It’s a loading injury and we have to de-load him over the next few weeks and get him back from there.
“We know it’s not a long-term injury and he will be back. We all, Jack included, probably pushed him back a little bit too quickly. He wanted to get back, we wanted him to get back and he had a little setback.”
Kortney Hause will be back with the squad after recovering from his injury while Wesley is still trying to build up his match fitness.
Liverpool have no new fresh injury issues although Jurgen Klopp has stated he will assess the fitness of his players following the defeat to Real Madrid in mid-week.
They are still without Divock Origi, Jordan Henderson, Joe Gomez, Joel Matip and Virgil Van Dijk who all remain on the treatment table.
Referee: Paul Tierney.
Assistants: Simon Bennett, Constantine Hatzidakis. Fourth official: Chris Kavanagh. VAR: Andy Madley. Assistant VAR: Adrian Holmes.
DID YOU KNOW
Only Manchester City have scored (eight) more than seven goals against Liverpool in a single Premier League season in 2017/18.
No team have kept more clean sheets on the road (eight) than Aston Villa this season. One more would set a new club record in a single top-flight campaign.
Liverpool are looking to avoid a seventh straight league win at home.
HOW TO FOLLOW
Liverpool v Aston Villa will be shown live on Sky Sports Main Event in the UK.
I CANNOT WATCH LIVE
Despite their recent home form, It is very difficult to see anything other than a home win for this game. As I touched upon earlier, Villa fans will know, whenever there is a record to be broken, Villa turn up. Ask Sheffield United a few months back!
Liverpool 3-1 Aston Villa