Liverpool vs. Aston Villa
Venue: Anfield Stadium
Kick off: 3:00PM
Redemption, revenge and a return to form at home will be on the agenda for Liverpool when they welcome Aston Villa to Anfield this afternoon.
The champions were on the end of a 7-2 humiliation in the reverse fixture at Villa Park in October – one of nine defeats they have suffered this season to leave them playing catch-up in the top-four race.
A huge amount has transpired since these two last faced off in the league more than six months ago, but Liverpool will no doubt feel as though they have some unfinished business after finding themselves on the wrong end of one of the most remarkable Premier League scorelines of all time.
The champions had made a strong start to their title defence heading into that fateful day at Villa Park, boasting a 100 per cent record of three wins from three, including dominant back-to-back victories over Chelsea and Arsenal.
In hindsight, what followed was the first real glimpse of what would become a torrid attempt to retain the title this season, and even before their defence had been ravaged by injury, they found themselves ripped apart by Villa.
Ollie Watkins bagged a hat-trick, Jack Grealish scored twice and John McGinn and Ross Barkley both got in on the act as well as Liverpool were humbled, humiliated and hammered by a team that struggled against relegation last season.
Jurgen Klopp usually insists that each game is a new game and that past meetings will have no bearing on future showdowns between certain sides, but even he might be tempted to tap into the bruised egos Liverpool suffered in October ahead of today’s match.
These two sides have faced off once since then, with Liverpool surviving a scare against a youthful Villa team in the FA Cup third round in January, but it is the last Premier League meeting which will dominate the buildup to this game.
Liverpool possible XI: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Phillips, Kabak, Robertson, Milner, Fabinho, Jones, Shaqiri, Firmino, Mane.
Aston Villa possible XI: Martinez, Cash, Konsa, Mings, Targett, Luiz, McGinn, Traore, Barkley, Trezeguet, Watkins.