LONDON, ENGLAND - Wednesday, March 16, 2022: Liverpool's Diogo Jota celebrates after scoring the first goal\ during the FA Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Liverpool FC at the Emirates Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool lineups vs. Aston Villa – 7 changes possible as Matip & Jota return

Jurgen Klopp has a decision to make regarding how many fresh legs he’ll look to inject into the XI as Liverpool meet Steven Gerrard’s Aston Villa.

A new week presents new challenges and the prospect of another trophy for the Reds, but the latter is on the backburner for now as the Premier League takes centre stage.

The draw against Tottenham last time out was far from ideal as Man City then responded with a 5-0 thumping of Newcastle to extend their lead at the top to three points.

It means nothing but a win will do at Villa Park as the Reds look to at least take the title race to the final day.

But with the embarrassment of riches Liverpool possesses, Klopp is not short on options to get the job done – the question is how many changes is he willing to make?


Team News

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Liverpool XI vs. Villa

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, February 6th, 2022: Liverpool's Diogo Jota celebrates with team-mate Takumi Minamino (R) and Trent Alexander-Arnold and Diogo Jota (L) after scoring the first goal during the FA Cup 4th Round match between Liverpool FC and Cardiff City FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 3-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

There are two ways Klopp can go about his selection with this fixture, and an eye on the FA Cup final on Saturday could more than play its part in the manager’s final decision.

In this instance, we could see just three changes – one across each line – as there are still four days to rest, recover and prepare for Chelsea at Wembley.

Joel Matip‘s return feels inevitable, while Naby Keita will be eager to slot back into the midfield:

  • Matip to take Konate’s place in sole defensive change
  • Thiago handed a rest with Keita to sit next to Fabinho and Henderson
  • And Jota to rotate in for Diaz; Salah and Mane stay put

This would have the Reds lining up as follows:

Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Henderson, Keita; Salah, Jota, Mane

On the other hand, there could even be up to as many as seven changes and it would unlikely come as a surprise to supporters should that be the case.

It would not be conceding defeat in the league as the team would certainly still remain incredibly strong, but it allows for a valuable rest for a handful of Reds expected to start at Wembley:

  • Gomez, Matip and Tsimikas join Van Dijk in defence
  • Henderson drops into No. 6 role with Keita and Jones on either side
  • And Firmino marks his return next to Salah and Jota; Origi also an option

Those changes see the Reds shape up like this:

Alisson; Gomez, Matip, Van Dijk, Tsimikas; Henderson, Keita, Jones; Salah, Jota, Firmino

It could very well be that Klopp looks to settle somewhere in the middle so as to not unsettle the balance and rhythm of the team, but Liverpool certainly has the depth to make mass changes.

The Reds know more than most not to underestimate Aston Villa but Klopp’s side, whichever he picks, ought to be more than capable of getting the required result before focusing on a Wembley final.