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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

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FA Cup: Aston Villa vs Liverpool; Time for payback

The last time Liverpool travelled to Villa Park one of the most famous Premier League games of all time unravelled right before us.

Famous for all the wrong reasons from Liverpool’s perspective as the reigning champions were beaten 7-2 by Aston Villa.

Liverpool were unbeaten in the league since that game until they played Southampton and put in another seriously disappointing performance for the third time on the bounce.

Jurgen Klopp’s side will have a chance to get some revenge on Aston Villa and rectify their poor performances of late, but they were nearly denied that chance.

Aston Villa’s training centre had to be closed due to the club having a coronavirus outbreak and the side will be a depleted line-up with the whole senior bubble ruled out including the coaching staff:

The FA stated last week if a team can field a team and have 14 players to pick from that the games must be played hence why Derby County are playing their under 23’s and under 18’s against Chorley as well as the side from the Midlands.

Hopefully, everyone who has tested positive is coping well and will recover as quickly as possible in time for their game against Everton next week.

Of course, this has happened between these sides before albeit in very different circumstances last season when Liverpool had to play their youth squad against Aston Villa and got beat 5-0 but done themselves proud.

So, this time it will be Aston Villa’s time and we have gone full circle which is quite ironic.

It will be interesting to see whether Jurgen Klopp goes full strength or mixes it up as he attempts to get his squad out of the rut that they are currently in.

In past seasons Klopp has not always went with his strongest side but with the next game being nine days after he might try to keep the players rhythm especially with the fact that the next match is against historic rivals Manchester United.

There were some fitness updates in Klopp’s press conference as he confirmed that Naby Keita will yet again be missing through injury, which is so frustrating, he seems to be going through the same thing that Daniel Sturridge went though at Liverpool which ended up with his whole time at the club being overshadowed by his constant injuries.

With the obvious talent Keita has that would be the last thing anyone wants.

Klopp also confirmed that Joel Matip and Diogo Jota will be back in a couple of weeks.

Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams will both be hoping they get another chance whilst Billy Koumetio and Sepp Van Den Berg will be hoping that they will get their first opportunities to start as Liverpool are still trying to cope with their injury crisis at centre back.

Thiago Alcantara might get back-to-back starts for the first time in his Liverpool career to build up his rhythm and solidify his place as a starter, but it may be an unnecessary risk with the Spanish international only just returning from a lengthy injury.

It would be a surprise to see the normal front three (Mane, Firmino, Salah) start due to the fact the opposition will be full of youth players but if the trio do start, they will have to put in a big performance as they’ve been in some poor form as a collective in the last three league games.

Klopp might look towards the backup forward players such as Takumi Minamino, Xherdan Shaqiri and Divock Origi to give them some much-needed minutes with the latter looking likely to leave the club in January.

One thing that is for sure is that Liverpool need a completely different performances and need to actually show up.

Even if the assumption is that Klopp does not care about the FA Cup at the end of the day it is silverware, and every Liverpool fan wants to see their team give it a go with an enjoyable performance to prepare for Manchester United.

Written by Elliot Thompson

READ MORE: FA Cup shock of the weekend: The Mariners are through!

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