AUTHOR: Star Sports Content

STAR PREVIEW: Aston Villa v Liverpool

The fixture list at this time of year can create real dilemmas for top clubs and Liverpool have chosen to focus on the Club World Cup ahead of the Carabao Cup, which should give Aston Villa a path into the last four at home tonight.

Tonight’s quarter-final takes place just 24 Club World Cup challenge with a semi-final against Monterrey in Doha, and the Reds have emphatically chosen to concentrate on their task in the middle east with 20 of their senior players already in Qatar. The only players left behind were injured, so the reds will be fieldling a youth side here.

Aston Villa v Liverpool
Carabao Cup Quarter-Final
19:45 Sky Sports Football / Sky Sports Main Event / Sky Sports Ultra HD

HEAD TO HEAD RECORD*
(Maximum 10 matches, Since 2010)
NOV 2019 PREMIER LEAGUE Aston Villa 1-2 Liverpool
FEB 2016 PREMIER LEAGUE Aston Villa 0-6 Liverpool
SEP 2015 PREMIER LEAGUE Liverpool 3-2 Aston Villa
APR 2015 FA CUP Aston Villa 2-1 Liverpool
JAN 2015 PREMIER LEAGUE Aston Villa 0-2 Liverpool
SEP 2014 PREMIER LEAGUE Liverpool 0-1 Aston Villa
JAN 2014 PREMIER LEAGUE Liverpool 2-2 Aston Villa
AUG 2013 PREMIER LEAGUE Aston Villa 0-1 Liverpool
MAR 2013 PREMIER LEAGUE Aston Villa 1-2 Liverpool
DEC 2012 PREMIER LEAGUE Liverpool 1-3 Aston Villa

Liverpool, like any big club, have their fair old share of excellent youth prospects – Harvey Elliott is already a highly rated forward and Caoimhin Kelleher saved Dani Ceballos’ penalty in the shootout against Arsenal, whilst Neco Williams gave a superb assist for Divock Origi’s last-minute equaliser there.

Ki-Jan Hoever scored his first goal for Liverpool in a 2-0 win against MK Dons back in the early rounds, but the most senior player – midfielder Pedro Chirivella – has made just seven total appearances and much of the side that takes to the field will be under 20.

Dean Smith might make some changes to the Vila side with a crucial run coming up as they faced relegation rivals Southampton on Saturday, but that shouldn’t be a major issue – Villa have beaten Brighton and Wolves in this competition and before that they put six past Crewe.

We could still see Ahmed Elmohamady and Douglas Luiz in a makeshift team but they should be too strong regardless of the lineup that Smith puts out and the challenge is finding value from a likely Villa win. Villa won 3-1 at Brighton and 2-1 at home to Wolves, so a fair amount of goals could be on the cards here and Villa shpuld make it to the semi-finals in relatively comfort.

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