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Goals galore and a chance for Ox as Liverpool seek FA Cup boost

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Sadio Mane could find himself against a familiar foe as he looks to revive his Liverpool form in Friday night’s FA Cup third-round clash away to top-flight opposition Aston Villa.

Mane has scored six goals and provided two assists in his last five games against Villa for Liverpool and Southampton.

He still holds the record for the fastest-ever Premier League hat-trick, which came in two minutes, 56 seconds for Southampton against Villa in May 2015.


Klopp’s FA Cup luck

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, January 28, 2017: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp before the FA Cup 4th Round match against Wolverhampton Wanderers at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Since Jurgen Klopp took over, the Reds have now faced Premier League opposition in 64 percent of all FA Cup ties (including this fixture).

This will be the fourth season in a row, and the first time in history, they have met top-flight opponents at this stage of the competition.

The Reds have never progressed beyond the fifth round under Klopp.

Each of Liverpool’s four FA Cup wins under Klopp have come by a single-goal margin.


Third time for Ox?

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has twice been part of a team that beat Villa in the FA Cup, both for Arsenal – in 2012 (fourth round) and again in 2015 (the final at Wembley).


Penalty history

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, October 30, 2019: Liverpool's goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher during the Football League Cup 4th Round match between Liverpool FC and Arsenal FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool have been successful in 16 of 23 penalty shootouts in all competitions and have won three out of three in the FA Cup – the last being the 2006 final against West Ham.

They have, however, lost four of the last six and each of last two. Their last two shootouts have all come against the same team, Arsenal.

One of the successful shootouts came at Villa Park, against Portsmouth in a 1992 FA Cup semi-final.

Caoimhin Kelleher was in goal when Liverpool last won a shootout (against Arsenal in the League Cup in 2019).


Another for Milner?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 26, 2015: Liverpool's James Milner celebrates after the 3-2 victory over Aston Villa during the Premier League match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

James Milner has scored in each of his two Liverpool starts against Villa, including his first goal for the club in 2015.

The Reds’ vice-captain played 126 times for Villa in league and cup (2005-06 and 2008-10). He scored 22 goals.


Villa Park

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - Sunday, October 4, 2020: Liverpool’s manager Jürgen Klopp during the FA Premier League match between Aston Villa FC and Liverpool FC at Villa Park. The game was played behind closed doors due to the UK government’s social distancing laws during the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool’s last four meetings at Villa Park in all competitions have produced 23 goals, with the Reds conceding 12 in the last two visits – the 5-0 League Cup defeat last season being with a largely academy squad.

Since putting seven past Liverpool in October, Villa have won one of five games at home, with three defeats.

Overall this season, they have lost four of their eight games at Villa Park – three in the league to Leeds, Southampton and Brighton, and to Stoke in the League Cup.


Tonight’s referee

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, December 6, 2020: Liverpool's captain Jordan Henderson remonstrates with referee Craig Pawson after he awaded Wolverhampton Wanderers a penalty, the decision was later overturned when the referee looked at a replay on the VAR monitor, during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Wolverhampton Wanderers FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Craig Pawson was the referee when Villa went out of the FA Cup at this stage last season at Fulham.

He was the referee in games when Liverpool were defeated in the FA Cup in both 2017 and 2018.


This season’s scorers

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, December 27, 2020: Liverpool's Sadio Mané celebrates after scoring the first goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and West Bromwich Albion FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Aston Villa: Watkins 8, El Ghazi 6, Grealish 6, Traore 4, Barkley 2, Konsa 2, Mings 2, Davis 1, Hause 1, Hourihane 1, McGinn 1, own goals 1

Liverpool: Salah 16, Jota 9, Mane 7, Firmino 5, Minamino 4, Jones 3, own goals 3, Grujic 1, Henderson 1, Matip 1, Origi 1, Robertson 1, Shaqiri 1, Van Dijk 1, Wijnaldum 1

* Statistics courtesy of LFC statistician Ged Rea (@ged0407).

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