Liverpool Vs Aston Villa Premier League Football Match 2023
Fresh from an empathic two-legged win over Hibernian to book their place in the Europa Conference League group stages, Aston Villa trek to Anfield to take on Liverpool in Sunday’s Premier League showdown. While the Lions sealed an 8-0 aggregate success over their Scottish counterparts in midweek, Jurgen Klopp’s 10 men stunned the St James’ Park faithful last weekend, sinking Newcastle United 2-1. As was the case last year, a first-half red card between Newcastle and Liverpool threatened to derail one side’s aspirations of victory at St James’ Park, as Virgil van Dijk cut a seething figure while trudging down the tunnel, having been penalised for a last-man foul on Alexander Isak.
Jurgen Klopp’s side – who were perhaps fortunate to still have 10 men on the pitch after Trent Alexander-Arnold – would seemingly succumb to a strike from former academy product Anthony Gordon, but just like in August 2022, the Merseyside powerhouses left it late to crush Eddie Howe’s dreams. While Fabio Carvalho was the hero last season, super sub Darwin Nunez netted a brilliant brace off the bench to maintain Liverpool’s unbeaten start to the new term, as well as extending Klopp’s winning run over Howe to 11 games – an all-time Premier League record for a manager against a single opponent. Sitting pretty in fourth place with seven points taken from the opening nine on offer this term, the Reds have now gone 14 games without defeat in the top flight since being subjected to a 4-1 thrashing at the hands of Manchester City – winning nine and drawing five league contests since.
Furthermore, the hosts’ unbeaten Premier League streak at Anfield now stands at 13 matches since Leeds United stunned Merseyside in October, but with Liverpool having both scored and conceded in each of their last five games, Villa will no doubt be aiming to fight fire with fire.
Unlike Klopp’s crop, Aston Villa were unable to quell Newcastle at their St James’ Park headquarters in the first weekend of the season, but Unai Emery’s charges appear to have taken a few leaves out of the Magpies’ book following that 5-1 embarrassment. Indeed, the Europa Conference League-bound Lions have strung together four successive wins with a staggering 15 goals since travelling home from Newcastle with their tails between their legs, and the Matty Cash show took centre stage at Turf Moor last weekend, as the right-back’s double and a Moussa Diaby effort saw Villa ease to a 3-1 over Burnley.
Either side of their emphatic success over Vincent Kompany’s men, the Lions made incredibly light work of their Europa Conference League qualifying playoff tie versus Hibs, completing the job on Thursday with a 3-0 second-leg win after putting five unanswered goals past the Scottish Premiership side at Easter Road. Cash was on target again alongside Leon Bailey and Jhon Duran, and group-stage ties with AZ Alkmaar, Legia Warsaw and Zrinjski Mostar now await, but for the time being, Villa seek to reverse a slightly worrying trend that has seen the Lions fail to keep a clean sheet in any of their last seven Premier League away matches. However, the Lions did manage to extinguish Liverpool’s Champions League dreams with a 1-1 draw at Anfield last term, which snapped the Reds’ five-game winning run against their West Midlands counterparts since that unforgettable 7-2 mauling behind closed doors.
While Van Dijk’s straight red card from last weekend carries a one-game ban, the Dutchman is at risk of being hit with a lengthier suspension due to a charge of improper conduct, having allegedly used insulting language towards the officials as he reluctantly made his way off the field. As fans wait with bated breath to learn the outcome of the charge, Klopp will at least be forced to work around the absence of Van Dijk this weekend, and the Reds boss has also conceded that Ibrahima Konate will not return from an unspecified injury in time for the game either. Joe Gomez and Joel Matip could therefore form the defensive wall in front of Alisson Becker, while Thiago Alcantara has suffered a setback in his recovery from a hip injury, but Curtis Jones has fully recovered from an ankle concern.
Speaking of midfielders, Ryan Gravenberch’s arrival from Bayern Munich was confirmed late on deadline day, but a debut this weekend is unlikely. Meanwhile, Villa boss Emery has no fresh fitness concerns to report from either of their most recent successes against Hibs or Burnley, but long-term knee victims Emi Buendia and Tyrone Mings remain sidelined alongside Jacob Ramsey (ankle) and ex-Liverpool attacker Philippe Coutinho (thigh). First-choice goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez has also been struggling with a minor calf issue over the past week and is touch-and-go for the weekend, as is Alex Moreno, whose thigh injury may or may not heal in time for him to be involved here. The Lions were active on transfer deadline day with the loan signing of Clement Lenglet from Barcelona, but Emery may see no need to alter his effective defensive formula for the time being.