Aston Villa v Liverpool | FA Cup | Live fans match thread!

Quoting from the BBC: Aston Villa's FA Cup third-round tie with Liverpool will go ahead on Friday despite a "significant" Covid-19 outbreak at the host club.

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This about sets the tone for the match as I'm not certain of the sensibilities of taking ourselves to what sounds like a Covid19 hotspot but even before that came to light this game seemed like one we might want to treat as a throwaway fixture.

It's highly unusual for me to say something like that as most seasons I write about how I'd like to see us take the domestic cups more seriously and especially the FA Cup. Klopp responds by totally ignoring it and we promptly get dumped out of both competitions earlier than we should.

The 2020/21 season however is more than a little different to most and with our title defence on the line I hope we use this opportunity to rest as many of our main players as possible.

Next up in the Premier League we play Utd who sit joint first with us but crucially they have a game in hand. It's vital we win that match for the obvious fact they're our arch nemesis but just as importantly we need to arrest our current slump in form and cement top spot in the league.

Normally I'd make the argument we have nine days after tonight's match to recover before the Utd game and should therefore go all out for the win against Villa. It may well be the case Klopp feels that way and we see him field a strong team for the Cup as a result.

The luck we've had this season though it just seems too great a risk not to take the opportunity to wrap a few players in bubble wrap. One last point in addition, we know Villa "will field a team mainly comprised of players from their Under-23 side so the (C19) outbreak can be contained."

Injury wise, this game comes too soon for Keita and Jota, with Matip out as well and I think we should field the following.

***Article update: Romper was first to correctly spot my intentional 'is everyone awake' inclusion of Kostas Tsimikas who is of course long term injured. I notice now I even included a capital K in his name as a subtle eye catching clue*** Guess it has to be Robbo at left back then!

A caveat: if Jurgen chooses to field a much stronger team to try and get the game won quickly before then resting players, I'll not be too disappointed.

He'll be playing Russian roulette if he does because fans still have Jota's injury in mind and if one of our main players gets injured again in this game I think people will be pretty miffed.

Here are Jurgen's pre-match thoughts.

Liver Bird's Scorecast: A game of two halves where we win each one two nil!

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