Predicted XI

Milner and Firmino to start? How Liverpool could line up against Aston Villa

Jurgen Klopp not only has the top four to worry about in the Premier League, but also his side's Champions League second leg clash against Real Madrid

10:29am on Friday 9th April 2021
Martin Macdonald

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp could decide to freshen up a couple of positions this weekend when the Reds take on Aston Villa in the Premier League.

In Liverpool's last domestic game they swept Arsenal aside easily with a 3-0 away victory, giving them confidence heading into their Champions League quarter-final fixture against Real Madrid on Tuesday.

However, they were completely out-of-sorts in the Spanish capital and now must try and fight back from a 3-1 deficit in the upcoming second leg this week.

The Reds still need to fight on both fronts to try and get into the Champions League next season, so the Real Madrid game won't exactly take precedence over Aston Villa, but he might still change a couple of things.

Both Nathaniel Phillips and Ozan Kabak were poor against Madrid, but will likely retain their spots in defence alongside Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson.

Neither full-back impressed either, but Liverpool don't really have any ready-made senior replacements available so their spots are safe.

Naby Keita was taken off, for tactical purposes, in the first half against Real Madrid so although he is available he probably won't start.

Thiago came on for him but he could be saved for the return leg against Los Blancos, which would mean a starting berth for James Milner in midfield alongside Gini Wijnaldum and Fabinho.

Roberto Firmino is pushing for a start and could be recalled to the XI, potentially in place of Diogo Jota, again with one eye on the second leg against Real Madrid on Wednesday.

Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah will likely retain their places.

Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Joel Matip, and Jordan Henderson are continued absentees.

Liverpool predicted XI against Aston Villa

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