LFC v Villa: Xabi returns

Xabi Alonso returns to the Liverpool line-up for this afternoon’s visit of Aston Villa.

Also back in the side is fellow Spaniard Alvaro Arbeloa. The two who miss out from the team which thrased United last week are Sami Hyypia and Lucas.

Albert Riera continues on the left despite a somewhat poor performance last week, he’ll be hoping to improve today.

Ryan Babel, somewhat surprisingly, isn’t in the squad, instead two centre backs are named on the bench. The Dutchman may have an injury which hasn’t been previously reported. And Yossi Benayoun hasn’t recovered from a hamstring injury in time to make the squad.

Former Reds Emile Heskey and Brad Friedel line-up for the away side, who have John Carew alongside Heskey in attack. Gabby Agbonlahor isn’t in the starting eleven.

Liverpool: Reina, Arbeloa, Skrtel, Carragher, Aurelio, Alonso, Mascherano, Kuyt, Gerrard, Riera Torres.
Subs: Cavalieri, Hyypia, Agger, Ngog, El Zhar, Dossena, Lucas.

Aston Villa: Friedel, Reo-Coker, Davies, Cuellar, L. Young, Milner, Petrov, Barry, A. Young, Heskey, Carew.
Subs: TBA

Kick off is 4pm (UK), live on Sky Sports.