BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - Sunday, December 5, 2021: Aston Villa's Ollie Watkins looks dejected after missing a chance during the FA Premier League match between Aston Villa FC and Leicester City FC at Villa Park. Aston Villa won 2-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Aston Villa hopes crushed before Liverpool clash – 8 players currently injured

Aston Villa were dealt a bitter blow days before the visit of Liverpool on Monday night, as they exited the Europa Conference League at the semi-final stage.

It has been a pivotal week for Villa, who travelled to Olympiakos for the second leg of their Europa Conference League semi-final on Thursday.

Unfortunately, the only English side left in European competition were brutally knocked out, losing 2-0 in Greece to endure a 6-2 aggregate defeat.

They did so without eight players due to injury, with Tyrone Mings, Boubacar Kamara, Youri Tielemans, Emi Buendia, Nicolo Zaniolo, Jacob Ramsey, Alex Moreno and Morgan Rogers all out.

Speaking after the loss to Olympiakos, Unai Emery provided an update on three of those players, with Moreno and Tielemans potentially returning against Liverpool.

“Each day is going to be very important because some players have small injuries,” the manager told reporters including the Birmingham Mail.

“Some are having small pain and there is no date when they can come back, like Zaniolo.

“He is close but is not comfortable with his pain. Hopefully he can progress in the next days.

“Tielemans is close, Alex Moreno will need a few days and maybe could be available [vs. Liverpool].”

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Thursday, November 10, 2022: Aston Villa's manager Unai Emery during the Football League Cup 3rd Round match between Manchester United FC and Aston Villa FC at Old Trafford. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The situation forced Emery to switch formations against Olympiakos, ditching his usual four-man defence for a back five with centre-backs Ezri Konsa, Pau Torres and Diego Carlos all starting.

Youngsters Finley Munroe, 19, Kaine Kesler-Hayden, 21, Tim Iroegbunam, 20, Omari Kellyman, 18, and Jhon Duran, 20, all came off the bench.

Clement Lenglet, another centre-back, was the only experienced outfielder in reserve, though six-goal striker Duran has been a regular throughout the season.

If things don’t improve for the likes of Tielemans and Moreno, then, it could be a bare-bones squad that hosts Liverpool at Villa Park.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 2, 2023: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah scores the third goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Aston Villa FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

There will be little scope for changes either way, with Villa at least afforded an extra day to prepare in a fairly comfortable turnaround between Thursday and Monday.

Jurgen Klopp was not asked on the fitness of his squad during his press conference on Friday, with it unclear if there are any new issues or if Diogo Jota is back fit.

Predicted Aston Villa XI: Martinez; Cash, Konsa, Torres, Digne; Luiz, Tielemans; Diaby, McGinn, Bailey; Watkins