An interesting fixture lies ahead, with two clubs looking for success this season meeting in B6 as Aston Villa welcome Liverpool to Birmingham.
- Aston Villa are one of the most injury-riddled sides in the Premier League so far this season, with 6 first team regulars set to miss this game
- Virgil van Dijk misses just his second set of games for a red card in a Liverpool shirt, his last dismissal coming in 2018
- Aston Villa have scored 2 more goals than Liverpool so far this season but have conceded 3 more
Aston Villa have slowly closed the gap on the top sides in the league over the past few years and this is a much closer fixture than it would have been only a few years ago.
Aston Villa Form
After an unprecedentedly shocking start, losing 5-1 to Newcastle United in the opening game of the season, Villa have been virtually faultless since. They rebounded in style with a 4-0 win over Everton in their following fixture, which saw a first Villa goal for Jhon Duran, and then went on to play their first competitive European fixture in 15 years.
Villa smashed Hibernian 5-0 away in the European Conference League qualification round, including a first hat trick of the season for Ollie Watkins. A solid 3-1 win at Burnley followed before thumping poor Hibs 3-0 back at home. It would suffice to say that Villa Park is a bubbling place to be.
After starting the season with a 1-1 draw with fellow league giants Chelsea, they got back to their familiar winning ways with a 3-1 defeat at Bournemouth.
A much more dramatic game followed; facing up against recently minted Newcastle United, where captain Vergil van Dijk was dismissed mid-way through the 1st half, Liverpool went a goal down and looked to find opportunities on the counter. Their resilience paid off and they were able to claw a climactic win with two goals from Darwin Nunez.
Since the incredible 7-2 of 2020 for Aston Villa, things have gone predominantly the way of the Merseyside team. After 5 back-to-back wins for Liverpool, in their last meeting, Villa managed a 1-1 draw in May.
Vergil van Dijk is the most notable absence for the travelling side, after his sending-off against Newcastle, he will not travel along with Thiago Alcantara, Ibrahima Konate and Curtis Jones.
Aston Villa have their own issues to contend with, Tyron Mings and Emiliano Buendia will be out for months after undergoing knee surgery recently, and Jacob Ramsey, Alex Moreno Tim Iroegbunam are out of contention. Argentine superstar Emi Martinez may feature and Phillipe Coutinho, who is still a Villa player at the time of writing, will be unavailable.
Liverpool’s potency in attack will need to be nullified from the source by Villa, and the high press of captain John McGinn and the tenacity of Boubacar Kamara will be put to the test to stop the speed of Liverpool’s build-up.
The visitors on the other hand will look again to the hero of St James’ Park; Darwin Nunez. Inconsistent in front of goal last season, Nunez has looked lethal when presented with chances this term and he will pose the biggest threat to Villa’s rotated defence.
A very tough fixture for both sides, I would imagine a close scoreline whichever way it goes. Liverpool have the run of the green with Aston Villa over the years but home advantage and the noise of the Holte end could push Villa towards a result.