Liverpool are the visitors to Villa Park for the late Sunday kick off (7:15pm GMT), as Dean Smith looks to make it 3 wins from 3.
Both sides were knocked out of the Carabao Cup midweek, with a much changed Villa losing out to Stoke, while Liverpool succumbed to Arsenal on penalties.
The focus therefore shifts back to the Premier League, as Smith looks to orchestrate a win over the reigning champions.
Villa came agonisingly close to defeating Liverpool last season, leading the game until the 87th minute before two late goals turned the game on it’s head.
This fixture also requires the team to overcome one of our most concerning stats: Liverpool hold the Premier League record for away wins against a single opposition when facing us at Villa Park.
Villa come into the game in much better shape than many previous squads though. Indeed, if our first season back in the top flight is defined by survival “at all costs”, efforts have been made in the transfer market to consolidate our position.
This is perhaps no better reprensented than with the season long loan of Ross Barkley. The boyhood Evertonian immediately improves Villa’s options in midfield, lifting it to England international quality.
There are quirks to the fixture too, as Jurgen Klopp must do without Mane and new signing Thiago; both will miss out after positive Covid-19 tests.
For Dean Smith, and Villa supporters, this is the first opportunity to see how many of the new recruits fare against one of the worlds best teams.
The fact that we go into the fixture with optimism rather than trepidation, tells us that the club is travelling in the right direction, perhaps irrelevant of the games outcome.
VILLA TEAM NEWS
Cash, Konsa, Mings, Targett.
McGinn, Luiz, Barkley, Trezeguet, Grealish (C)
ON THE BENCH
Steer, Traore, Hourihane, Nakamba, Davis, Elmohamady, El Ghazi.
Read: 22 Things You Need To Know Before Aston Villa v Liverpool
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