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Is Aston Villa vs Liverpool on TV tonight? Kick-off time, channel and how to watch FA Cup semi-final

The Independent logo The Independent 08/01/2021 Bella Butler
a football player on a field © Provided by The Independent

Liverpool kick off their FA Cup campaign in the third round this Friday with hopes of returning to winning ways against hosts Aston Villa, whose coronavirus outbreak failed to see the game called off.

Jurgen Klopp’s side come off the back of their third Premier League game without winning, with former Liverpool striker Danny Ings scoring early for Southampton to take a 1-0 win.

The Reds will also be looking for revenge against Villa who put seven past them back in October, and Klopp is likely to put out a strong side to avoid another embarrassment.

Villa’s 2-1 defeat against Manchester United last Friday ended their five-game unbeaten run, but of greater concern this week was their “significant” Covid-19 outbreak on Thursday, which saw their training ground closed.

FOLLOW LIVE: Latest updates from Aston Villa vs Liverpool

Five seasons under Klopp has seen Liverpool play poorly in the FA Cup, having gone out at this stage of the competition once and three times in the fourth round. Last season saw them reach the fifth round, where they were beaten by eventual finalists Chelsea.

Villa have been knocked out in the third round in each of the past four seasons, having been beaten by Fulham, Swansea City, Peterborough United and Spurs - here’s everything you need to know:

Mohamed Salah holding a ball: Liverpool have not won in their last three gamesAP © Provided by The Independent Liverpool have not won in their last three gamesAP

When is the match?

The game kicks off at 7.45pm on Friday 8 January.

Where can I watch it?  

The match will be shown live on BT Sport 2. Subscribers can also stream the match via the BT Sport website or app.

What is the team news?  

Liverpool have a number of absent players, with Joel Matip, Naby Keita, Diego Jota, Kostas Tsimikas, Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk all out injured.  

Klopp could be making some drastic changes from the clash with Southampton, possibly meaning a new goalkeeper and back four, which may include James Milner.

Thiago Alcantara and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are likely to keep their spots, with Klopp keen to get them plenty of playing time at this stage of the season.

The Reds’ could see three changes in attack with Xherdan Shaqiri, Divock Origi and Taukmi Minamino all in with a chance of starting, while Curtis Jones could also feature in the line-up.

Villa had injury concerns surrounding Trezeguet and Wesley, while Ross Barkley was set to return to the starting XI on Friday. Dean Smith will be wanting to field a strong side, but his side’s Covid outbreak means that is unlikely to be possible. It is as yet unclear which players have tested positive for the disease and/or are self-isolating, though Smith, who may not even be present at the game, will likely discuss an XI with a mixture of Under-23 and Under-18 players.

While it remains unclear which players could be used, as some may have trained in the first team bubble and will therefore be unavailable, below is the last Under-23 XI used by the club.

Line-ups  

Villa XI: Onodi, Bridge, Revan, Walker, Rowe, Chrisene, Barry, Kesler, Sylla, Raikhy, Bogarde

Liverpool XI: Kelleher, N. Williams, R. Williams, Fabinho, Milner, Henderson, Wijnaldum, Jones, Mane, Minamino, Salah

Odds

Aston Villa 14.0, 13/1

Liverpool – 1.2, 1/5

Draw – 10.5, 19/2

Prediction

In an almost impossible situation for Aston Villa, Dean Smith, likely not involved tonight either due to the club's Covid-19 outbreak, will be hoping for respectability from his youthful side, even against a much-changed Liverpool side. With that being said, the Reds have enough depth to make this a comfortable night's work should the entirety of the Villa first team be out, so we'll go for a 4-0 away with, with Jurgen Klopp's side easing off once the game is safe in what promises to be peculiar circumstances. Villa 0-4 Liverpool.

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