Liverpool may be a depleted side but they have been able to get their 2023/24 season off to a great start.
Their performance against Chelsea on matchday 1 is still yet to be topped by any other game this season. Jürgen Klopp, playing with a brand new midfield consisting of new signings Dominik Szoboszlai and Alexis Mac Allister, was able to go to Stamford Bridge and keep his unbeaten streak alive.
His team was on the defensive for most of the game, however, as they were only able to keep hold of the ball for 35 percent of the game. However, they had more attempts at goal but the poor return of one goal marred their attacking proficiency in that tie.
Against AFC Bournemouth, they found things a lot easier. The same time resulted in a 9-0 thrashing of the Cherries last season but the new-look Bournemouth were not going to go down without a fight this time around.
It took a third-minute Antoine Semenyo goal to wake the Reds up. By halftime, they were two goals up and the game ended 3-1 to give them their first three points of the season.
Their shots total from the Chelsea game doubled and their opponents were lucky to not have lost by nine goals again thanks to the performances of Brazilian Neto and a better-organized defence. It was another attacking masterclass that showed that Klopp is able to create magic with what he has.
They will be welcoming Aston Villa to Anfield on Sunday 3 September 2023 but Klopp will be as wary of the Birmingham-based side just as he was of Chelsea.
The Villans are under the leadership of Unai Emery who is buoyed by the prospect of playing in another European competition.
Aston Villa have shaken off their bad start to the season to secure big wins in their last games. Everton felt their wrath on matchday 2 after they had lost emphatically to Newcastle United on matchday 1.
It was a dominant performance from start to finish for Emery’s side. There were lapses in their defence, however, because Everton, poor though they were in the game, were able to get nine shots off while completing 81 percent of all their passes. In comparison, Villa made 89 percent of their passes while having 13 shots in the game. It can be inferred that a better defence is what helped them to a clean sheet and all three points.
The Red half of Merseyside is much better at creating chances and scoring goals. Emery will have to work on reducing the amount of chances they create in order to get something out of that game.
Liverpool vs Aston Villa will be played at Anfield on Sunday 3 September 2023 at 2 PM. The match will be broadcast on Sky Sports for fans within and around the UK. Around the world, other Premier League broadcast partners will also air the game.
Liverpool vs Aston Villa Tickets for the highly-anticipated clash will go up on the websites of both sides, though it would indeed be hard to come by.
Liverpool tickets especially will be sold out for most of the season thanks to the rebuild that is ongoing at the club. After finishing outside the top four and losing the most players they have ever lost, many will be curious as to how Jürgen Klopp will rediscover the X-Factor that saw him compete on equal footing with Pep Guardiola for four seasons.
As stated earlier, Liverpool are a very depleted team. However, they have their replacements for the departed midfield trio of Fabinho, Jordan Henderson and James Milner, although the latter was mostly used in defensive roles.
Wataru Endo is in line for another start as he continues to understand how to play with Mac Allister and Szoboszlai. Stefan Bajčetić is set to challenge him for that role in the squad, which will bring about the healthy competition that Klopp likes for his side.
Thiago Alcantara remains the only Liverpool player with a big injury.
Aston Villa, on the other hand, have Philippe Coutinho (knee injury; four weeks), Leander Dendoncker (muscle problem; unknown recovery date), Tyrone Mings (ACL injury; unknown recovery date), Jacob Ramsey (metatarsal fracture; returning in a week) and Alex Moreno (hamstring surgery; returning in a week), as well as Emiliano Buendia (ACL injury; unknown recovery date).
The Argentina international is as good as done for the season, which means they are stretched thin. They have also not been impressive in the transfer market with defender Pau Torres and forward Moussa Diaby being their best signings this season.
Wataru Endo is in line for a start alongside Szoboszlai and Mac Allister as Klopp attempts to build a super midfield trio like he did with his Salah-Mane-Firmino trident for years. Cody Gakpo will lose his place as a result. Diogo Jota will continue to be trusted ahead of Darwin Nuňez in the centre-forward position but the Uruguayan will make an appearance in the game. The XI will be largely unchanged thanks to Klopp’s available options and the strength of Emery’s team.
Liverpool: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson; Szoboszlai, Endo, Mac Allister; Salah, Jota, Diaz.
Aston Villa will also field the same team thanks to the options available to Emery due to injury and a lack of convincing transfer activity. Nicolo Zaniolo could be the only change to the team but Moussa Diaby is doing well in that position. That is the kind of selection headache that Emery will be proud to have because both players can offer genuine threats against Liverpool.
Aston Villa: Martinez; Cash, Konsa, Torres, Digne; Kamara, Luiz; Bailey, Diaby, McGinn; Watkins.
Liverpool have not lost to Aston Villa, home or away, in the last five games. Expanding that bracket to 10 games, the Reds will have seven wins, two losses and one draw.
Overall, the Reds have a staggering 101 wins over Aston Villa, who have only 58 wins. Unai Emery is not about to break the current streak – which has also been watched over by Jürgen Klopp – at Anfield of all places. Their clash on 3 September 2023 will be entertaining because the Spaniard has built a great team that can hold their own against the best of the best.
Liverpool 2-1 Aston Villa.