Liverpool football club will play in their home stadium, Anfield, tonight, 16:30, for the first time since they were confirmed champions of the Premier League for 2019-2020 season. They will host relegation-threatened Aston Villa in the must-win match.
Aston Villa is visiting Anfield less than 8 days after they were beaten by Wolves, 0-1, in their own backyard. The last time they played Liverpool, they fell 1-2 in their home stadium, Villa Park. While the reigning Premier League champions are hosting the visitors three days after they were humiliated by Manchester City 4-0 in their first match after they were confirmed champions.
Jurgen Klopp, the manager of Liverpool had said that he and the players have put the loss behind them and they have moved on. He has also insisted that the players are focus and still hungry to win despite the fact that they are already the champions; adding that he won’t stop using his best eleven to execute the remaining Premier League fixtures.
While Dean Smith, the manager of Aston Villa had said that his team which is 3rd on the league table from the bottom and 6 points away from the 20th placed Norwich City, could survive relegation and could perform a miracle against Liverpool tonight.
Liverpool current form:
Liverpool won the Premier League with 7 games left, an history that has never been created in the league. Throughout this season, they have only managed to lose two matches in 32 Premier League games. Since the restart of the season on June 17, they have played 3 matches, losing one against City, drawing against Everton, and winning one against Crystal Palace.
In the three games, the reigning Premier League champions have conceded 4 goals and scored four, meaning that they score as much as they concede.
Aston Villa current form
Aston Villa are among the 6 teams in the league that are suffering the worst side of the season. Villa’s case is even worse as they have failed to win their last 8 games which is the longest winless run so far this season. The last time they won a match in the Premier League was on 21 January 2020 when they defeated Watford United 2-1. Since then, Aston Villa have suffered 7 defeats and only enjoyed two draws.
Since the Premier League returned from the coronavirus break, Villa have played four matches, losing two against Chelsea football club and Wolves, and drawing two against Sheffield United and Newcastle United. Altogether, they have conceded 4 goals and they have scored two.
What Liverpool and Aston Villa stand to lose or gain
Currently, Liverpool are topping the Premier League table with 86 points. They need 14 points to break the 100 points in a season record held by Manchester City. To achieve that, they need to win at least 5 matches out of their remaining 6 matches. If they win this match, they will have 89 points, which means, they would need just 11 points to break the 100 points record.
Besides that, they will need to win the match to bring themselves back to winning ways and give their fans something to keep celebrating their first Premier League title win in 30 years with.
In the other hand, Aston Villa have everything to play for in this game. In fact, they need this game more than Liverpool. If they lose the match to the champions, they will remain on 18th spot with 27 points in 33 matches. This means that they will be tied to 19th placed Bournemouth.
However, if they win, they will have the bragging rights of beating the champions of the league in their own backyard. But most importantly, they will move to the 17th spot with 30 points, the same points as West Ham United occupying the 16th spot.
Team News: Liverpool
Klopp has some injuries worries but most of his best players are fit and ready for the game. He has vowed to use his best eleven to execute the remaining games in the season including tonight’s game.
The best news for Klopp is that one of his best legs in the heart of the midfield, James Milner, and Dejan Lovren who missed the City game after picking up a knock in training, are fully fit and available for selection.
Some of the injuries worries for Klopp are Joel Matip, he is currently suffering a foot injury, and Xherdan Shaqiri, he has been out since January with a calf injury.
Liverpool possible starting lineup:
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Henderson, Keita; Salah, Firmino, Mane
Team News: Aston Villa
Matt Targett, Wesley and Tom Heaton will not be available for Aston Villa as they are still battling with fitness. However, Dean Smith now has Danny Drinkwater and Federid Guilbert to select as they have recovered from their knocks. Henri Lansbury may not have a place in the first eleven due to fitness issues.