LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, December 6, 2020: Liverpool's Sadio Mané (L) celebrates with team-mate Mohamed Salah after the fourth goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Wolverhampton Wanderers FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 4-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Confirmed Liverpool lineup vs. Aston Villa: Klopp goes strong despite 6 changes

Jurgen Klopp has made six changes as Liverpool prepare to take on a youthful Aston Villa side in the third round of the FA Cup, following an outbreak of COVID-19.

Villa’s first team are currently in isolation, along with manager Dean Smith and his coaching staff, after 14 positive cases emerged within the senior camp this week.

This has led Mark Delaney to lead a squad comprised of under-23s and under-18s players against the Premier League champions, in a situation uncannily similar to the League Cup quarter-final last season.

Klopp is present this time around, with the Reds given the advantage of experience against Villa, and while the manager has made six alterations to the side that lost at Southampton on Monday night, there is quality throughout.

Caoimhin Kelleher takes over from Alisson in goal, having made a seismic step up since that 5-0 loss in the League Cup in 2019, with this a deserved start for the Irishman.

Ahead of Kelleher in defence are Neco Williams, Rhys Williams, Fabinho and James Milner.

Jordan Henderson is set to take up duties as the deep-lying midfielder, to be flanked by Gini Wijnaldum and Curtis Jones.

Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Takumi Minamino line up in attack, with Minamino making his first appearance since scoring in the 7-0 thrashing of Crystal Palace on December 19.

Thiago, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Roberto Firmino are among Klopp’s options on the bench.

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

Substitutes: Zych, Jay-Hart, Sohna, Tait, Rowe, Young, Swinkels, Ealing, Lindley

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

Substitutes: Alisson, Phillips, Robertson, Alexander-Arnold, Thiago, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Shaqiri, Origi, Firmino

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