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Aston Villa vs Liverpool prediction, preview, team news and more | FA Cup 2020-21

Thiago Alcantara is likely to be involved from the start
Thiago Alcantara is likely to be involved from the start
FEATURED COLUMNIST
Modified 06 Jan 2021, 17:43 IST
Preview
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Liverpool travel to Villa Park on Friday night for an FA Cup third round tie against Aston Villa.

The Reds won't have happy memories of their last visit to Birmingham, as they were beaten 7-2 on an awful night for them in October.

With this being the early stages of the competition, Liverpool are unlikely to field a full-strength lineup, especially with this game coming hot on the heels of the hectic festive period.

However, the Reds do need a lift in form and confidence. Since beating Crystal Palace 7-0 in mid-December, they've gone three games without a win, picking up only two points from those games.

Liverpool haven't scored since Sadio Mane's early goal against West Bromwich Albion at Anfield on 27 December. They lost 1-0 to Southampton on Monday night, with a Danny Ings goal settling the tie.

Villa are also coming off a loss. They were valiant in their performance at Old Trafford against Manchester United, but still lost 2-1.


Aston Villa vs Liverpool Head-to-Head

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Liverpool have won 96 of 195 previous clashes against Aston Villa, losing 59 games against the Villans in the process.

In the last two games between these two sides at Villa Park, Dean Smith's side have scored 12 goals and conceded two.

Before the 7-2 win in October, Villa faced Liverpool in last season's Carabao Cup quarter-final, which they won 5-0. Liverpool were forced to field a team of youngsters, with the first team away in Qatar for the Club World Cup.

Aston Villa form guide: D-D-L-D-W

Liverpool form guide: L-D-D-W-W


Aston Villa Team News

Aston Villa

For Villa, Wesley is a long-term absentee, while Trezeguet is also ruled out of this game. Ross Barkley's participation is also in doubt. Dean Smith is unlikely to tinker much with the lineup or the system that has worked well so far this season.

Injured: Wesley, Trezeguet

Doubtful: Ross Barkley

Suspended: None

Liverpool

Both Naby Keita and Joel Matip are still missing due to injuries. This might be an opportunity for Liverpool to give players who haven't featured much in recent weeks some game time. Players such as Xherdan Shaqiri and Takumi Minamino come to mind.

Injured: Joe Gomez, Virgil van Dijk, Diogo Jota, Kostas Tsimikas, Naby Keita, Joel Matip

Doubtful: None

Suspended: None


Aston Villa vs Liverpool Predicted XI

Aston Villa Predicted XI (4-3-3): Emiliano Martinez; Matty Cash, Ezri Konsa, Tyrone Mings, Matt Targett; Douglas Luiz, John McGinn, Jack Grealish; Bertrand Traore, Ollie Watkins, Anwar El Ghazi

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Liverpool Predicted XI (4-3-3): Caoimhin Kelleher; Neco Williams, Nat Phillips, Rhys Williams, James Milner; Thiago Alcantara, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Curtis Jones; Xherdan Shaqiri, Divock Origi, Takumi Minamino


Aston Villa vs Liverpool Prediction

With Liverpool set to field a much-changed lineup in a competition that isn't a high priority for them, Villa will fancy their chances.

Aston Villa will likely stick with their first-choice starting XI, and we are predicting a third straight Villa Park loss for the Reds.

Prediction: Aston Villa 3-1 Liverpool

Published 06 Jan 2021, 17:43 IST
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