Liverpool predicted XI for Aston Villa FA Cup tie as hosts set to field youth team – Mirror Online

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is expected to ring the changes when his side make the trip to Aston Villa in the FA Cup this evening.

The hosts will be without their first team, manager Dean Smith and his staff after an outbreak of Covid-19 at the club’s training ground.

That means Klopp will no doubt feel even more inclined to rest several of his jaded stars, whose workload has been even heavier due to the numerous injuries at the club.

But who will make the cut to feature for the Reds? Here’s Mirror Football’s predicted Liverpool XI to face Aston Villa.

Caoimhin Kelleher is likely to play in goal to rest Alisson
(Image: Paul Ellis/POOL/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

Caoimhin Kelleher is likely to feature in goal in order to rest Alisson, with Klopp now assured the 22-year-old is up to the task given his performances last month.

It will be a young defence due to the further setback of Joel Matip, though James Milner may add plenty of experience if played at left-back.

Thiago Alcantara may not be risked, but Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is likely to be given more game time in order to regain full fitness.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain saw his last-minute cross get deflected away as a 1-1 draw was confirmed

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will be hoping to get more minutes under his belt
(Image: 2020 Getty Images)

Curtis Jones is likely to continue in midfield, while Leighton Clarkson will be hoping to make his domestic debut after fearing in the Champions League before Christmas.

And up front, it should be all change as Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino make way for the usual back-up trio of Takumi Minamino, Divock Origi and Xherdan Shaqiri.

It seemed unclear whether the clash would go ahead when the news broke about Villa’s coronavirus situation.

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But an FA statement confirmed that pending further tests, the game would go ahead.

It read: “The Football Association and Aston Villa are working closely together to try to ensure that the club’s Third Round Proper fixture with Liverpool can go ahead as planned at Villa Park tomorrow evening.

“Final confirmation will be made tomorrow pending the results of additional COVID-19 testing.”

Liverpool predicted XI: Kelleher; N Williams, R Williams, Phillips, Milner; Jones, Clarkson, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Minamino, Origi, Shaqiri.