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Aston Villa vs Liverpool - FA Cup 3rd round preview: How to watch on TV, live stream & team news

90min logo 90min 1/6/2021 Daniel Feliciano
a football player on a field: Aston Villa face Liverpool in the FA Cup third round | Marc Atkins/Getty Images © Provided by 90min Aston Villa face Liverpool in the FA Cup third round | Marc Atkins/Getty Images

Aston Villa host reigning Premier League champions Liverpool in the FA Cup third round at Villa Park on Friday night, looking to recreate their huge win from earlier in the season.

Villa beat Jurgen Klopp's side 7-2 in the Premier League and have gone on to maintain their good form, banishing any thoughts of a relegation battle to sit in eighth, just seven points behind the Reds - who top the table - with two games in hand.

Liverpool are leading the way on goal difference but have been indifferent form of late, going three consecutive league games without a win for the first time since 2018. They'e also won just two of their nine Premier League games on the road; an unfathomable record given their unstoppable form last season.

Here's 90min's preview of the cup tie.

graphical user interface: These two teams met at Villa Park earlier this season | Pool/Getty Images © Pool/Getty Images These two teams met at Villa Park earlier this season | Pool/Getty Images

Where to watch

When Is Kick Off? Friday 8 January

What Time Is Kick Off? 19:45 (GMT)

Where Is it Played? Villa Park

TV Channel/Live Stream? BT Sport (UK)

Referee? Craig Pawson

Team news

Dean Smith has been fairly consistent with his team selections in the Premier League this season but will likely use this game as a chance to rest some key players.

Emi Martinez, Matt Targett, John McGinn, Jack Grealish and Ollie Watkins have all played every minute in the league this season and will probably drop out. Ross Barkley is still not quite ready to start, although he could make the bench, while the likes of Marvelous Nakamba, Conor Hourihane, Jacob Ramsey and Ahmed Elmohamady could come in to start.

Liverpool have been able to welcome back several players from injury but are still without a senior centre-back as Joel Matip, Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk remain unavailable. After the failed experiment of moving Jordan Henderson into defence against Southampton, youngsters Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams are in contention for a starting berth.

James Milner could fill in at left-back to allow Andrew Robertson a rest, while Takumi Minamino, Xherdan Shaqiri and Divock Origi could come into the attack.

Predicted lineups

Aston Villa: Heaton; Elmohamady, Hause, Mings, Taylor; Ramsey, Nakamba, Hourihane; Traore, Davis, El Ghazi

Liverpool: Kelleher; N. Williams, Phillips, Fabinho, Milner; Thiago, Jones, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Shaqiri, Origi, Minamino

a group of baseball players playing a football game: Nat Phillips should return to the starting lineup after missing the defeat to Southampton | Pool/Getty Images © Pool/Getty Images Nat Phillips should return to the starting lineup after missing the defeat to Southampton | Pool/Getty Images

Prediction

This will be a very competitive tie between two teams looking to balance rest and progression into the next round. Aston Villa tasted a domestic final last season when they were beaten by Manchester City in the Carabao Cup final, and that run seemed to spur them on in their battle against relegation.

Liverpool, meanwhile, don't usually prioritise domestic cup competitions, and the fixture pile-up won't serve as a particularly good motivator for Jurgen Klopp. However, the Reds need to get back to winning ways, and the players who come into the side have a responsibility to get the club back on track.

Dean Smith wearing a uniform: Klopp wants to get back to winning ways and will want revenge for the defeat earlier this season | GEOFF CADDICK/Getty Images © GEOFF CADDICK/Getty Images Klopp wants to get back to winning ways and will want revenge for the defeat earlier this season | GEOFF CADDICK/Getty Images

The Reds' away form has been shocking this season and Villa will take encouragement from that, but can Klopp's side really lose another one on the road? Perhaps not, which would result in Villa's sixth consecutive FA Cup third round defeat.

Prediction: Aston Villa 1-2 Liverpool

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