Aston Villa vs. Liverpool: Premier League Matchday 37 Preview

With the Premier League title officially off the table, all that's left to do is savor the last few moments of Jürgen Klopp's tenure as Liverpool manager.
Liverpool FC v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League
Liverpool FC v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League / Visionhaus/GettyImages

After Manchester City took down Fulham on Saturday, the final nail was in the coffin- Liverpool won't be adding to the trophy case beyond just the Carabao Cup in Jürgen Klopp's final season as the gaffer.

Still, there are two matches left, and with them, the opportunity to experience Klopp's football just a bit longer, so let's talk about what to expect in the next one, a road trip to Aston Villa.

Top of the Pitch

The front line of Liverpool has been subject to much discussion this year, and it'll be fascinating to see how it's handled going forward under Michael Edwards and Arne Slot- but for now, Klopp has a couple more games with the current personnel.

Despite reports of varying credibility, it remains to be seen for sure who out of the group of Mo Salah, Darwin Nunez, and Luis Díaz will still be at Anfield next year.

It will be interesting to see if Klopp decides to play this group, which has generally been his first-choice attacking trio this year, or gives some play time to backups and youngsters like Cody Gakpo or Jayden Danns as a warm-up for next fall.

Other than the imposing Emiliano Martinez in the net, the back of the pitch for Villa doesn't really include much to fear for Liverpool's forwards.

They're fifth in goals conceded per match, but bang-average in xG against, a testament to Martinez's ability to lift up a mediocre group in front of him.

At their best, this Liverpool group should smash through any back line, but they've been their own worst enemies far too often this season, we'll see if they can be at their best again after a fluid performance against Tottenham with the pressure more or less off.

The Midfield

This is another area where Liverpool could start players as a sort of pre-summer audition, should the Edwards administration want to be active in the transfer market.

As appreciated as his service has been, Wataru Endō is not necessarily a part of the picture, and this match could be a great chance for him to show potential buying clubs what he can do- or to appeal that he should stay at Anfield.

Conversely, Alexis Mac Allister, Dominik Szoboszlai and Harvey Elliott are all certainly sticking around, and as such, could be in for a day off, or at least half of one.

Stefan Bajcetic is back after missing plenty of time this year with an injury, so some good pitch time for him could be extremely constructive as he looks to rebuild fitness, comfort and confidence.

Villa are seventh in the league in terms of average possession, so they should provide a worthwhile test for whoever steps in. Douglas Luiz and John McGinn have both chipped in really well in the central areas for Villa, and provide a tough matchup for whoever's lined up against them.

The Back End

Alright, now it's officially time to say that Klopp should be benching players like Alisson and Trent. They're two of the most key pieces of the Liverpool project going forward, and if there really is to be a sale of Caoimhin Kelleher this summer, a couple of starts to boost his transfer value couldn't hurt.

The same could be said of Kostas Tsimikas, who is also likely on the way out of Anfield.

There's also plenty of young talent to slot in along the back line- Virgil van Dijk could get a rare day off with Jarell Quansah in the lineup, while Conor Bradley could use at least a bit of time on the pitch as he comes back from a minor injury.

That being said, regardless of who is in the net and in front of it for Liverpool, this should be a fun matchup with Villa's front line.

Ollie Watkins has been one of the most productive forwards in all of England this season, while Leon Bailey is proving to be one of the best attacking sidekicks, and a real versatile threat.

Considering how much more Villa have to play for as compared to Liverpool- their top-four spot is not assured- expect their forwards to come out firing hard in their final home match of the season.