Liverpool have now won seven games in a row with two games to play and Jürgen Klopp’s Reds in the midst of an unlikely push for top four qualification as a result of that winning streak. Saturday’s match against Aston Villa, though, might be their toughest test yet.
In order to take that streak to eight and keep hope alive, they’ll have to beat the fourth best side in the Premier League since Unai Emery took over for Steven Gerrard on November 1st. Only Manchester City, Arsenal, and Liverpool have been better than Villa in the months since.
“Villa are a fantastic team, a fantastic manager, we know that,” said Liverpool fullback Andy Robertson. “The game we played against them on Boxing Day was incredibly tough, and I know how confident they are just in terms of the way they are playing for their European push.
“Probably in the situation they were in before Emery came in probably a lot of people didn’t expect that either. They will be highly motivated to try to get into Europe, of course they will be. It’s going to be a tough task but we have to focus on the 90 minutes.”
While much of the talk beyond the traditional top six has focused on Newcaste being in the top four mix sooner than expected and Roberto De Zerbi managing to improve Brighthon following the departure of Graham Potter, over the past six months Villa’s rise has been the real story.
For home for the final game of 2022-23 , though, and in scintillating form themselves, Liverpool are favourites—and rightly so. They will need to be at the top of their game, though, to get the result they need to keep putting pressure on the sides ahead of them.
“We’ve obviously found a bit of consistency,” Robertson added. “Hopefully we keep the momentum going for the last two games and as long as we finish the season strongly it gives us something to build on with what we’ve done maybe in the last four or five years and not this season.
“That’s got to be the aim. But we know we’ve got two massive games still to go and we’re still pushing, we’re still putting pressure on the teams above. We have to try to continue to do that and let’s see where we get next Sunday.”