Liverpool team news: Expected XI vs Aston Villa as Jurgen Klopp replaces Diogo Jota

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Jurgen Klopp is expected to be without frontman Diogo Jota when Aston Villa travel to Liverpool looking to cause an upset. Steven Gerrard returns to his former stomping ground looking to put a serious dent in the Reds’ Premier League title aspirations ahead of the crunch festive period.

Gerrard has already recorded three wins from four since moving back south of the border from Rangers meaning Villa will be full of confidence.

There is potentially bad news for the hosts with Jota facing a race against time to be fit.

The Portuguese international has not trained since feeling a muscle problem after the 1-0 win at Wolves.

Divock Origi, the man who saved Jota’s blushes at Molineux following a woeful miss thanks to a 94th-minute winner, could keep his place in the side.

The Belgian was on target again in midweek as Liverpool made it six wins from six in the Champions League group stages at AC Milan.

Origi is now set to keep his place if Jota cannot prove his fitness in time for the clash, playing up top alongside Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah.

There has been plenty more good news for the Reds this week though, who have welcomed Naby Keita, Joe Gomez and Roberto Firmino back to training.

Firmino has been missing for several weeks after picking up a hamstring injury in the 2-0 win over Atletico Madrid.

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The Brazilian is expected to be eased back in after now suffering the same injury twice this season.

Nat Phillips has also been ruled out until the new year after breaking his cheekbone at the San Siro despite being unlikely to feature in the match.

Alisson will start in goal while Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold are also expected to start at full-back.

At centre-back, Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip will continue their impressive partnership.


Fabinho, Henderson and Thiago Alcantara are also expected to continue their run of games alongside each other in the engine room.

The likes of James Milner, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Takumi Minamino will continue to provide support from the bench.

Liverpool will be looking to maximise the full use of their squad this month before losing Keita, Mane and Salah to the Africa Cup of Nations.

Expected Liverpool XI (4-3-3): Alisson, Robertson, Matiz, Van Dijk, Alexander-Arnold, Fabinho, Henderson, Thiago; Mane, Salah, Origi.

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