Aston Villa vs Liverpool
| Tuesday, May 10th |
Premier League | Villa Park
8PM BST / 3PM EST
Despite Liverpool dropping points to Tottenham at the weekend and Manchester City responding with a thumping of Newcastle, the title race remains on, and the Reds will simply have keep winning in order to keep the pressure on their rivals.
It’s been a bit of a mixed bag for Steven Gerrard since taking the Villa job, as a hot start following the loan acquisition of former team-mate Philippe Coutinho was followed by a stretch of indifferent form, leading to the current situation where the Villans are decidedly mid-table, with no chance of European football and no risk of relegation. A dominant win over Burnley at the weekend did little to change this status.
Gerrard’s side put up brave resistance at Anfield back in winter, eventually falling to a Mohamed Salah penalty, and the Reds should not expect their former player to do them any favours,
The Birmingham side should be able to feature their first-choice XI, including top scorer, Ollie Watkins, the dynamic Jacob Ramsey, and former Reds Danny Ings and Phil Coutinho.
Projected Liverpool Lineup (4-3-3)
Alisson; Gomez, Matip, van Dijk, Tsimikas; Henderson, Jones, Keïta; Jota, Firmino, Díaz
For the Reds, with an FA Cup final coming up at the weekend, expect significant rotation, with Trent Alexander-Arnold, Ibrahima Konaté and Andy Robertson getting some rest in favour of Joe Gomez, Joël Matip and Kostas Tsimikas. Virgil van Dijk remains ever-present, however.
In midfield, there will be chances for Curtis Jones and Naby Keïta to contribute, as at least two of Fabinho, Thiago and Jordan Henderson will be on the bench, while another start for James Milner isn’t out of the question either.
Up top, Roberto Firmino should be back in contention after recovering from a foot injury, while Sadio Mané and Mohamed Salah should both be given a chance to rest their legs. Not to worry, though, as Diogo Jota and Luis Díaz are more than capable back-ups and should give Villa all they can handle.
What the Managers Said
Jürgen Klopp: “In an ideal world you win all the games and you are always in a great mood. A lot of times we have to respond on setbacks and that’s what we have to do. Not thinking about a setback now but, yes, in our situation, the only chance to win things is to win all our football games. That’s a tough task with the schedule but we still give it a try, by taking it one by one and not now thinking already about the cup final..”
Steven Gerrard: “We are aware of the challenge, you either fear that or you try to take it on and find situations where you can have your moments in the game. It’s exciting, I’m looking forward to it, big games of football are what it’s all about.“
Referee: Jonathan Moss
Assistant referees: Lee Betts, Timothy Wood
Fourth official: Andy Madley
VAR: John Brooks, James Mainwaring
Kickoff is set for 8PM GMT/3PM EST tomorrow, and television listings for the match can be found on LiveSoccerTV.
In the meantime, and as always, we’ll be keeping you updated with all the buildup to the game, including team news as it’s released, our live matchday thread, and post-match recaps from The Liverpool Offside staff. If you want to join the discussion, sign up for an SB Nation account to have your say on the action as it happens.