Aston Villa will host Liverpool at Villa Park, in the midweek clash between the two sides, on Tuesday. It is the return fixture from the tie that took place at the start of the season at Anfield.
Since the inclusion of Phillipe Coutinho, in the winter, Steven Gerrard’s men are looking very strong going upfront. Coming off from a thumping 3-1 victory against Burnley, they could use the same momentum to upset Klopp’s men.
Although, the Reds are on a hot run of form coming into this fixture. However, we cannot take anything from the fact that both Stevie G and Klopp’s teams, Aston Villa and Liverpool, reflect the high-intensity tactics on the pitch with their performance. And with the fans backing up their home side, the Villans, we can expect an entertaining match.
It is the duo of Gerrard and Coutinho that will get emotional coming in this game against their former side in Liverpool. The recent past for the Brazilian has not been all joyous since his move away from Anfield, but he will surely be reunited in a way that might help him give his side that little lift against a relatively stronger side.
As for the travelling Reds, well, after that home draw against Spurs they have put all the dependency of their potential title lift in the hands of an unstoppable City side. But Klopp has urged his players to focus on their games without stepping the foot off the gas, and finally hoping that City might drop points in their remaining few games. Meanwhile, respecting the challenges as they come and Aston Villa are not one that should be taken lightly. As they have nothing to lose, there will be a freedom of play that could be seen in the home side and who knows what could be led from that.
WHEN & WHERE?
Venue- Villa Park.
Date- Tuesday, 10th May 2022.
Time- 7 PM GMT.
PLAYERS TO LOOK OUT FOR
PHILIPPE COUTINHO (ASTON VILLA)
The talented Brazilian, widely known as ‘the Little Magician’, is no stranger to the Premier League, setting the league on fire during his time with Liverpool. His performances with the Reds brought the attention of Spanish giants Barcelona, who paid a record £142 million for the forward in 2018. However, the move did not quite work out for both parties, and Coutinho failed to recreate his magic at Camp Nou. Prior to his return to the Premier League, he was loaned out to the German giants- Bayern Munich. The Brazilian displayed some of the high quality skills there, including his off the bench masterclass in the Champions League to help Bayern destroy his parent club Barca, 8-2.
Now that he has made his return to the Premier League, and has been reunited with an old teammate & a legend- Steven Gerrard. It seems he never left.
He has made an instant impact at Villa Park, scoring on his debut against Man United, as Villa fought from 2 goals down to earn a point. He carried that form into the next games, assisting twice and scoring once in the game against Leeds United. In 15 games that he has played for the Clarets and Blue, the little magician has contributed 7 goals- scoring 4 goals and assisting another 3.
No doubt Gerrard will want his winger/attacking midfielder to help be the cause of an upset for the Reds.
LUIS DIAZ (LIVERPOOL)
Often referred to as Delightful Diaz by the Kopites, he is turning tables at Anfield. And it does not come as a surprise to anyone, seeing how well he was performing at Porto prior to his move to Anfield. Already, winning games by his sole brilliance on the field. Likewise at La Ceramica, in the 2nd leg of the Champions League Semi-final against Villarreal, and recently helping Liverpool from the brink of another defeat against Spurs- he scored the equalizer for the reds with 15 mins left on the clock to help his side earn a point.
His stay, so far, at the Merseyside has been far more beyond than the numbers to show for. It has been outrageous, if not crazy. It is already giving us the chills to just imagine what he’ll do next season, having fully trained under Klopp.
Meanwhile, the Columbian International has already scored 4 goals and has provided another 2 assists for the Reds in just 11 Premier League games. While Jurgen Klopp will be hoping for more of the same from his star signing, the Villans will be hoping to stop him from getting forward.
Gerrard has no fresh injury concerns, apart from Jacob Ramsay’s groin problem and Hause being sidelined with an abdominal problem. While it remains to be seen if Leon Bailey could make a quick recovery before the conclusion of the campaign, Villa will not want anything afresh for their own liking.
Though Coutinho was benched in the last game against Burnley, it does not seem as if Gerrard will want to play with the squad given their confidence going upfront. With the former Liverpool forward, Danny Ings, flying in the high form right now.
Meanwhile, in the away camp, Jurgen Klopp will be happy with his players and all the staff involved in such a fit squad. No fresh injury concerns to worry about, either. And adding to it, Bobby Firmino has returned to full training ahead of the game at the Villa Park.
We could see some rotations, given they will be playing Chelsea in the FA Cup Final on Saturday. But other than that, it is yet another assignment for Klopp and his management team to decide what squad to put on the pitch on Tuesday against Aston Villa.
Aston Villa predicted XI vs Liverpool: Martinez; Cash, Konsa, Mings, Digne; McGinn, Chambers, Luiz; Buendia; Ings, Watkins.
Liverpool predicted XI vs Aston Villa: Alisson; Gomez, Matip, Van Dijk, Tsimikas; Keita, Fabinho, Thiago; Salah, Jota, Diaz.