Aston Villa vs Liverpool – Pre-game Assessment

Monday, May 13, 20:00 – Villa Park

Referee: Simon Hooper

Based on the combatants’ current circumstances, our Villans should be welcoming the opportunity to prove themselves worthy to represent England in next season’s UEFA Champions League.  Our Villans will be heading into this game with either a four, a six, or a seven-point lead over Spurs, depending on how our rivals do at home against Burnley on Saturday.  Meanwhile, Liverpool has nothing to gain by winning. They are too far adrift of Arsenal and of Manchester City to catch either team, and sit solidly in the third spot that guarantees they qualify for next season’s UEFA Champions League.

So, why the lack of confidence of our Villans winning?  That is because our claret and blues will be feeling physically exhausted (after the Thursday Europa Conference League game in Athens) and stressed-out at the possibility that Spurs could win all three games that are currently left to play at time of posting (against Burnley at home, against Manchester City, also at home on Tuesday, the day after this game, and at Sheffield United on May 19th concurrent with our last game at Crystal Palace).

If the players are going to start nervous this Monday, one can only imagine the level of stress generated by 40,000 claret and blue fans holding their collective breaths.

Liverpool, like they did last Sunday against Spurs, will be playing for pride and for manager Jurgen Klopp who has announced that this will be his last season as the Reds manager.  Of course, we should not ignore the incredibly unlikely scenario that Arsenal and Manchester City both lose their games two days prior (on Saturday) creating the possibility that Liverpool could still win the league.  If that happens, we will have to recalibrate – no point worrying till then!

I think that most Villa fans are like me and would prefer that Spurs lose, or tie, to Burnley making it impossible for them to catch our Villans. That way, the game will lose some of its excitement but our Villans could at least play with less stress.

What does not help is the following: we lost the reverse fixture at Anfield (3-0), we have a long and talented list of injured and unavailable players, we have played over 50 games in all competitions with lots of travel and our squad is exhausted.  Meanwhile, the Reds squad is far deeper, and they have relatively few unavailable players right now.

On principle, I will not predict my Villans to lose, so I will give them the benefit of the doubt and predict they tie.  Heck, Spurs, who have been having trouble at both ends of the field lately managed to score twice at Anfield last weekend in a losing effort (4-2). 

Maybe a tie is doable!

Result Prediction:

Prediction:  Aston Villa 2, Liverpool 2

Predicted Villa Line-Up:

Aston Villa: (5, 2, 2, 1) Martinez, Cash, Konsa, Carlos, Torres, Digne, Luiz, McGinn, Bailey, Diaby, Watkins

Subs: Olsen, Zaniolo, Moreno, Lenglet, Durán, Iroegbunam, Chambers, Kesler-Hayden, Kellyman

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