KLOPP’S LAST GAME SOUVENIR

Aston Villa vs. Liverpool: 10 key things to know ahead of Klopp’s final away game

Liverpool head to Aston Villa on Monday night for their penultimate game of the season, in Jurgen Klopp‘s last-ever away match in charge.

Aston Villa vs. Liverpool

Premier League (37) | Villa Park
May 13, 2024 | 8pm (BST)


We all hoped that this would be a bigger fixture than it is, with too many poor recent results ending the Reds’ Premier League title chances.

It is important for Klopp to bow out on a high, though, and his side take on a Villa team who look nailed-on for Champions League football next season.

Here’s all you need to know ahead of the match.

 

1. Klopp’s final Liverpool away day

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, May 5, 2024: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp waves to supporters after the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Tottenham Hotspur FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 4-2. (Photo by Ryan Brown/Propaganda)

After nearly nine years, Klopp takes his Liverpool team away from home for the last time.

It has been an incredible ride under the German, who has masterminded so many great wins on his travels, and those heading to Villa Park will be in great voice.

It is important that Klopp’s final few games aren’t a damp squib, and having beaten Tottenham 4-2 last weekend, three more points would suggest a corner has been turned.

They are coming up against strong opposition, though…

 

2. Villa one of the teams of the season

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)

Back in August, Villa were arguably fancied to seal Europa League football, but nobody expected them to be this impressive.

Unai Emery – manager of the season nominee – has done an incredible job since replacing Steven Gerrard, and his side are all but certain to finish fourth now.

The Spaniard has built a formidable team from back to front, with World Cup winner Emiliano Martinez and star striker Ollie Watkins both key men, among many others.

Liverpool will have their work cut out on Monday.

 

3. Who’s missing for Liverpool?

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, April 21, 2024: Liverpool's Diogo Jota arrives before the FA Premier League match between Fulham FC and Liverpool FC at Craven Cottage. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

There was no sign of both Andy Robertson and Diogo Jota in training on Friday, suggesting the Liverpool pair are major doubts.

Jota hasn’t featured since scoring in the 3-1 win away to Fulham last month and he will not be expected to take any part.

Joel Matip, Thiago, Bobby Clark and Ben Doak are all out, and none of the quartet will feature again this season.

 

4. Unchanged or 1 enforced swap?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, May 5, 2024: Liverpool's Harvey Elliott celebrates after scoring his side's fourth goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Tottenham Hotspur FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 4-2. (Photo by Ryan Brown/Propaganda)

Klopp is likely to go with a similar starting lineup to the one that saw off Spurs last time around – could we even see an unchanged XI for only the second time in 2023/24, if Robertson is fit?

That would mean Jarell Quansah keeping his place ahead of Ibrahima Konate, which feels merited, and Harvey Elliott starting, too.

The 21-year-old has arguably warranted more starts this season, and with Dominik Szoboszlai and Curtis Jones not at their best, he could be retained.

Mohamed Salah, Luis Diaz and Cody Gakpo will likely make up the attacking unit, but Darwin Nunez will be desperate to silence the doubters.

Potential Liverpool XI: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Quansah, Van Dijk, Gomez; Endo, Elliott, Mac Allister; Salah, Diaz, Gakpo.

 

5. How will Villa line up?

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - Sunday, August 20, 2023: Aston Villa's goalkeeper Emiliano Martínez during the FA Premier League match between Aston Villa FC and Everton FC at Villa Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

European commitments have kept Villa busy of late, so legs could be tired after Thursday’s Europa Conference exit against Olympiakos.

Emery is unlikely to make many changes, though, if any, so expect much of the same at Villa Park.

That would mean Matty Cash and Lucas Digne being used as wing-backs, Douglas Luiz anchoring the midfield and Watkins leading the line.

Tyrone Mings, Boubacar Kamara, Jacob Ramsey, Emiliano Buendia, Nicolo Zaniolo and Morgan Rogers are all out, highlighting how well Villa have done despite so many injuries.

Leon Bailey is a doubt, too, having limped off against Olympiakos.

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

 

6. Klopp knows to avoid ref’s attention!

Speaking in his penultimate pre-match press conference at Liverpool, Klopp promised to avoid getting a yellow card that would see him banned for the Wolves game:

“I know that already for long. When did I get the second yellow card?

“By the way, we could turn it around as well and say I’ve only got two yellow cards! I think a few of my colleagues got suspended, right?

“Hmm! So I got calmer over the years, obviously. I don’t need to [be on the touchline], but it would be cool if I could do that!

“It will not be from my side. I will try absolutely everything to not get involved in any kind of discussions.”

On your best behaviour, Jurgen!

 

7. Liverpool’s record at Villa Park

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - Saturday, November 2, 2019: Liverpool's Sadio Mané scores the winning second goal in injury time during the FA Premier League match between Aston Villa FC and Liverpool FC at Villa Park. Liverpool won 2-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool have had plenty of success at Villa Park, with Sadio Mane‘s last-gasp winner in 2019/20 an iconic moment in the title-winning season.

There was also a memorable late Steven Gerrard free-kick on the opening weekend of the 2007/08 season, and the good memories outweigh the bad ones there.

The last time Liverpool lost at Villa was the bizarre 7-2 defeat during the 2020/21 covid season behind closed doors – we’re not counting that!

Otherwise, the Reds haven’t been beaten in the Premier League at Villa Park since May 2011, when a Stewart Downing goal earned the hosts a 1-0 win just before he moved to Anfield.

In the Premier League era, Liverpool have won 16, drawn five and lost seven away games to the Villans.

 

8. Did you know?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, August 24, 2019: Arsenal's manager Unai Emery (R) shakes hands with Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp after the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Arsenal FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 3-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Emery has faced Liverpool 10 times as a manager to date.

His first-ever meeting with the Reds was in the 2016 Europa League final, as his Sevilla side secured a 3-1 victory in Basel.

Since then, Emery has not won in nine attempts, drawing twice and losing on seven occasions.

The 52-year-old’s teams have conceded 26 goals in that time and have never kept a clean sheet against Liverpool.

 

9. Simon Hooper takes charge

LONDON, ENGLAND - Wednesday, January 24, 2024: Referee Simon Hooper during the Football League Cup Semi-Final 2nd Leg match between Fulham FC and Liverpool FC at Craven Cottage. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Simon Hooper is the referee on Monday evening, in an appointment that will no doubt delight Klopp!

He was infamously in charge away to Spurs when Diaz’s goal was wrongly disallowed after a VAR check, and he is generally not rated by the Liverpool manager.

This is Hooper’s fifth Reds game of the season, one of which was the 3-0 win at home to Villa back in September.

We can’t wait to see who the referee is for Klopp’s last match!

 

10. Follow the match with TIA

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, May 5, 2024: Jurgen Klopp Manager of Liverpool celebrates after the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Tottenham Hotspur FC at Anfield. (Photo by Ryan Brown/Propaganda)

Aston Villa vs. Liverpool is Sky Sports’ pick for Monday Night Football – coverage starts on Sky Sports Main Event at 6.30pm (BST), and the game gets underway at 8pm.

Henry Jackson is on TIA live blog duty from 7.15pm, overseeing Klopp’s final away outing and hopefully guiding you through an enjoyable evening.

Come on you Reds!