Team news, stats and prediction ahead of Liverpool vs Aston Villa in the Premier League on Saturday (kick-off 4.30pm).
Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren remains a doubt for Sunday’s visit of Aston Villa after missing Thursday’s defeat to Manchester City with a knock.
With Joel Matip ruled out for the remainder of the season with a foot injury it currently leaves manager Jurgen Klopp with just two fit centre-backs in Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez.
Midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri remains absent, having not played since January.
Matt Targett is out for Aston Villa after picking up a hamstring injury in last week’s 1-0 home defeat to Wolves.
Ezri Konsa is battling a foot injury after suffering a knock against Wolves and has not trained this week ahead of the trip to Anfield, although boss Dean Smith is hopeful he will recover in time.
Tom Heaton and Wesley (both knee) remain out and Borja Baston has left the club after his short-term contract expired with Villa opting not to extend the striker’s deal.
How to follow
Follow the match on Sky Sports Premier League without crowd noise and Sky Sports Main Event with crowd noise from 4.15pm; kick-off 4.30pm. Also keep up-to-date in our dedicated live blog with in-game clips, as well as highlights published on the Sky Sports digital platforms and the Sky Sports Football YouTube channel shortly after full-time.
Sky Sports are broadcasting 64 live Premier League games for the 2019/20 season resumption. In addition to the 39 matches already scheduled to be broadcast exclusively live on Sky Sports before the coronavirus interruption, 25 more matches are being broadcast on both Sky Sports Premier League and Sky’s free-to-air Pick channel, allowing the whole nation to be part of the return of live sport.
To celebrate the return of the Premier League, Sky Sports have also launched a host of innovative new features and updates to give fans an even more immersive experience and share the moments live with family and friends on virtual platforms.
I am sorry, Aston Villa, but this seems to be the worst thing that could have happened to them with Liverpool getting thumped at City. Lots of people predicted what would happen. It was not their attitude, but had they been celebrating a bit too much?!
I did not think they were that bad. Mohamed Salah hit the post and they made chances. Everything the full-backs tried they could not execute, and sadly it was against the one team who can make you look foolish. Welcome to being champions!
Jurgen Klopp’s side will be angry, upset, and will have a point to prove. Do Villa park the bus? Do they sit in? Do they get Jack Grealish on the ball? What have they got up front or in the wide areas?
That would be the thoughtful plan, to counter-attack and get some midfield runners alongside the attackers once more. John McGinn is still trying to get fit and find his feet since returning to action. Dean Smith will go to a back five, flood the midfield and put Grealish close to the frontman. They will feed off scraps, but Liverpool will win comfortably.
CHARLIE PREDICTS: 3-0 (17/2 with Sky Bet)
- Liverpool have won their last four Premier League meetings with Aston Villa, by an aggregate score of 13-3.
- Aston Villa have only lost one of their last five Premier League away games against Liverpool (W2 D2), though it was in their last such visit in September 2015 (2-3).
- Five of Aston Villa’s last six Premier League wins against Liverpool have been at Anfield, in a run stretching back to April 1999.
- Liverpool versus Aston Villa has seen more away wins than any other fixture in Premier League history (20 – 14 for Liverpool, 6 for Aston Villa).
- Aston Villa have lost 13 of their last 15 away Premier League games against the side starting the day top of the table (D2), since beating Leeds 2-1 in January 2000.
- This will be Liverpool’s first home league match since being confirmed Premier League champions for the first time – the Reds are unbeaten in 56 home league games, winning the last 23 in a row.