Aston Villa-Liverpool Preview
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp sees the upcoming week as a crucial moment in Liverpool's hopes for next season.
The Reds face Aston Villa - where they lost 7-2 in the reverse fixture earlier in the season - on Saturday, before hosting Real Madrid in the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final.
Los Blancos lead 3-1 heading to Anfield, though Mohamed Salah's away goal has given Liverpool hope.
And with the top-four race heating up, Klopp knows this is a chance for the champions to push on towards securing qualification.
"There is no opportunity without pressure," he said. "We are at the highest level of professional football, we want to fight for the Champions League, both qualifying for next year and being a part of it still for this year.
"A week ago we, spoke about a wonderful game we played against Arsenal, a great game of football. A few days later we played pretty much the opposite of a great game against Real Madrid, but this game shouldn't have any influence on the Aston Villa game."
Liverpool will be facing a Villa side shorn of influential captain Jack Grealish, who Dean Smith has confirmed suffered an injury setback.
"Myself and Jack were quite optimistic to get him back a bit sooner than he probably should and he's had a setback that will probably put him back a couple of weeks," Smith said.
"He was really good in training, but he couldn't tolerate the loading. It's a loading injury and we have to de-load him over the next few weeks and get him back from there.
"We know it's not a long-term injury and he will be back. We all, Jack included, probably pushed him back a little bit too quickly. We wanted him to get back and he had a little setback."
Liverpool - Diogo Jota
Diogo Jota has scored more Premier League goals as a substitute this season than any other player (four), while only Christian Benteke (six in 2015-16) has scored more substitute goals for Liverpool in a Premier League campaign than the Portuguese forward.
Aston Villa - Trezeguet
After a run of 32 shots without a Premier League goal since July, Aston Villa forward Trezeguet has found the net with two of his last three attempts in the competition.
•No side has kept more away clean sheets in the Premier League this season than Aston Villa (eight), while they have never kept more than eight shutouts on the road in a single top-flight campaign.
•Sadio Mane has scored eight goals in seven appearances in all competitions against Aston Villa across spells with Southampton and Liverpool, netting in all three games for the Reds against Villa (four goals in total).
•Villa have only won one of their last 27 top-flight away games against the reigning champions (D6 L20), winning 1-0 against Man Utd at Old Trafford in December 2009. The last reigning champions Villa did the league double over was Arsenal in 1989-90.
•Liverpool have lost their last six home Premier League matches, with Huddersfield Town the last team to lose seven in a row back in February 2019. Prior to this season, the highest a team has finished in a top-flight season when they've lost six or more home games in a row is ninth, achieved by Sunderland in 1946-47.
•Following their 7-2 win earlier in the campaign, Villa are looking to complete a Premier League double over Liverpool for the first time since the inaugural season in 1992-93 under Ron Atkinson.
Updated April 9, 2021