With three consecutive wins in the Premier League prior to the World Cup break but suffering a loss in the chaotic Carabao Cup tie against Manchester City, Liverpool faces Aston Villa in a challenging trip to Villa Park on Boxing Day.
The Villans completed a comeback in a 2-1 win over Brighton before the league halted whereas Liverpool lost an incredible 3-2 game against City in the cup match midweek.
AVL vs LIV Match Details
Date: Monday, 26 December 2022
Time: 18:30 (BST) / 23:00 (IST)
Venue: Villa Park, Birmingham
AVL vs LIV Match Preview
Under Unai Emery, Aston Villa have been on the brighter side of things than Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard’s reign at the club. Although it is only three games in charge for the Spaniard, Villa seems to be adapting well to Emery’s tactics. The reign started with an excellent 3-1 win against Manchester United in the Premier League before losing to the same opposition in the cup but peddled back to normalcy with a 2-1 win at Brighton. Keeping aside the loss in the Carabao Cup last month, Villa has looked positive in their approach with a clear plan in mind. Something lacking massively under the previous manager. Unai Emery has helped the club to 12th place on the table with the last couple of results and 18 points gathered from 15 games in total. A third straight win will put them in the top half of the table as the league resumes on Boxing Day. Getting it against Liverpool is a huge task despite the Reds suffering from their own set of issues this season. Aston Villa have lost eight of the last nine Premier League meetings with the Anfield-based club, the exception being the historical 7-2 win at this venue in 2020. Villa Park has been a sane ground for the team with only two losses suffered here this season. Emery also faced Jurgen Klopp seven times in his managerial career but managed to win only once, that being the Europa League win with Sevilla against Liverpool in the final of 2016.
Liverpool did not have an ideal start to their campaign after the World Cup with the midweek Carabao Cup elimination in the hands of Manchester City still pinching them before the Premier League returns on Boxing Day. The game once again witnessed crowd trouble, this time at Etihad as the holders of the tournament exited from the last 16 stages with a 3-2 loss. Jurgen Klopp had one or two things to say about the absence of VAR in the cup competition for some of City’s goals but could not make any excuses for his side spurning opportunities especially, the ones falling to Darwin Nunez. Fabio Carvalho and Mohamed Salah twice got the Reds back into the game but a Nathan Ake winner in addition to Erling Haaland and Riyad Mahrez’s goals took City through to the quarterfinals. The positive outline for Klopp and his men will be their recent winning run in the Premier League as they restart their business in the competition. Liverpool have won their last five games on this day without conceding a goal and scoring 15, the German being in charge for the last four. Only one away win in the league could be an iffy factor but the Reds’ 15 wins in Villa Park is the most they have managed at a single away ground in the competition. Liverpool needs to give their poor start to this season a bye in order to be more themselves in this period otherwise fear extending their already enormous seven points gap with the top four.
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AVL vs LIV Team News
Villa manager Unai Emery said he wants the club’s number one Emiliano Martinez to have a rest after an emotional week of winning the World Cup with Argentina. He will be coming back in the next game. Swedish keeper Robin Olsen is set to start against Liverpool despite carrying a small injury problem. Midfielder Jacob Ramsey missed the mid-season friendlies due to a hamstring injury which will keep him out for Monday as well. The 21-year-old will be ready in 10 days or two weeks.
Jurgen Klopp confirmed that Roberto Firmino and James Milner won’t be available in the next couple of games for Liverpool. The Brazilian missed the midweek Carabao Cup defeat to Manchester City as well while the latter was forced off at half-time with a hamstring problem in the game. Trent Alexander-Arnold could be back in contention after illness while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Virgil van Dijk are fine ahead of the clash on Boxing day. Klopp also confirmed Ibrahima Konate is set to return to training with the Reds on December 27 after reaching the World Cup final with France. Luis Diaz, Diogo Jota, Curtis Jones and Arthur Melo are out.
AVL vs LIV Predicted Lineups
AVL: Robin Olsen; Matty Cash, Ezri Konsa, Tyrone Mings, Lucas Digne; Boubacar Kamara, Douglas Luiz, John McGinn; Leon Bailey, Ollie Watkins, Emiliano Buendia
LIV: Alisson; Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joel Matip, Van Dijk, Andrew Robertson; Jordan Henderson, Fabinho, Thiago Alcantara; Mohamed Salah, Darwin Nunez, Fabio Carvalho
AVL vs LIV Dream11 Team Prediction
GK: Alisson (6.5)
DEF: Trent (8), Mings (7.5), Van Dijk (8), Robertson (7.5)
MID: Bailey (8), McGinn (8), Carvalho (8)
FW: Salah (9), Watkins (9), Nunez (8.5)
Vice-captain: Darwin Nunez
Captain: Mohamed Salah
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