2 matchdays remain and so does the same number of spots to qualify for The Champions League. This weekend will make things clearer. The 3rd and the 4th spot is up for grabs. Liverpool will try their best to secure the rest six points. But they need more than that. PRAYERS! Prayers that will make either Manchester United or Newcastle drop a few points. It is very hard to predict what might happen.
Aston Villa are tied with Tottenham in terms of points. They are in 8th position, one spot short of the Conference League. Their season has gone only upward since the arrival of Emery. Conference qualification will make Emery’s first season marvelous along with the club finishing top 10 after a long long period.
Matchday 37 brings us a clash between Liverpool, who will host Aston Villa, as they are set to play their last home game of the season. Klopp should make the most of it. Standing in his way will be Unai Emery who has turned the waves for Aston Villa. The fight is epic. Klopp and co. are enjoying an unbeaten run. They were last thrashed by City. Accumulating 7 wins and 2 draws from past 9 matches, Liverpool are going for that CL spot in 5th gear.
Liverpool’s PL form: W W W W W
Aston Villa’s PL form: W L L W D
WHEN & WHERE?
Where: Anfield, Liverpool.
When: Saturday, 20th May 2023.
Time: 2:00 PM GMT
Referee: John Brooks.
Assistants: Matthew Wilkes, James Mainwaring.
Fourth official: Michael Oliver.
VAR: Tony Harrington.
Assistant VAR: Nick Greenhalgh.
Bobby Firmino is back with the team for what is to be his last match for The Reds at the Anfield. Darwin Nunez is unavailable due to injury. Interestingly, Klopp will be absent too, as he is serving a touchline ban, courtesy of the comments he made about referee, Paul Tierney, the previous matchday.
For Aston Villa, the ex-Anfield sweetheart, Philippe Coutinho is set to miss the match. Good thing that Calum Chambers is available for this fixture after a short-lived illness.
Klopp starts with a 4-3-3 shape. Tuck-in-Trent has been his latest tactical masterclass. This makes up for his defensive inabilities. Fabinho accompanies him in the makeshift double pivot. The no. 8’s are told to stretch the field, thus creating a numerical superiority on the wings, where Liverpool dominates most of their game. Klopp likes those long balls, leading to less presence in the mid. That is the area where Liverpool can be attacked.
Unai Emery loves a 4-4-2 and it’s a universally known fact. His mastery in that shape has led him to become a top-tier coach for mid-table clubs. The pragmatic play runs through his veins, no wonder he’s been successful in bringing Villa at the place where they belong right now. Defensively, he creates banks of 5-4 or 4-5, allowing minimal room in the half-spaces. His tactics have paved way for the heroics of Emi Martinez. It would be very interesting to see how he stops the in-form Liverpool on their own turf.
The man who turned his haters into fans would be the pick for me for this fixture. The goal he scored in last match against Leicester was phenomenal. His long-ball accuracy speaks volumes. For a player who received so much hate at the start of the season, he surely has conjured all the positivity to bring out his A-game. Since he’s left out from the defensive work for a bit, his creativity has found a new way to excel.
The Brazilian midfielders has played a total of 35 matches with starting 31 of them. He has been on the scoresheet as of late. The man, who could make a difference for Aston Villa, might be him. Due to the lack of midfield density which Liverpool has, if Luiz could lay beautiful passes, he surely can hurt The Reds.
Liverpool predicted starting lineup: Alisson; Robertson, Dijk, Konate, Trent; Jones, Fabinho, Henderson; Diaz, Gakpo, Salah.
Aston Villa predicted lineup: Martinez; Moreno, Mings, Konsa, Young; Ramsey, Luiz, Kamara, McGinn; Buendia, Watkins.