Liverpool Vs Aston Villa Football Score Match 26 December 2022
Aiming to stretch their Premier League winning run to three games under Unai Emery, Aston Villa resume top-flight duties at home to Liverpool on Boxing Day. Meanwhile, the Reds have already returned to competitive action since the World Cup break, as their EFL Cup defence ended with a 3-2 defeat to Manchester City in the fourth round. There will be no Liverpool reunion for Steven Gerrard on Boxing Day, but the Unai Emery era has kicked off in positive fashion, and the Lions are out to record a third win from three games under the ex-Arsenal and Villarreal boss after besting Manchester United and Brighton & Hove Albion last month. Defeat to the Red Devils in the EFL Cup is a trivial blot on the Spaniard’s notebook, but back-to-back successes in the top flight have allowed Aston Villa to surge to 12th place in the rankings – five points clear of the bottom three and just one adrift of a potential top-half place.
With Emery still getting to grips with his new crop of players, it was no surprise to see Villa engage in a total of four friendlies during the World Cup period, although they only picked up one win in that sequence – overcoming Chelsea 1-0 on home soil on December 11. Elsewhere, the Lions played out a 2-2 draw with Brighton either side of defeats to Cardiff City and Emery’s former employers Villarreal, and the Spaniard is now aiming to make history as the first-ever Aston Villa manager to win each of his first three league matches in charge. Only two of the hosts’ last nine Premier League games at Villa Park have ended in defeat, with the Lions prevailing in three of their last four top-flight fixtures on home soil, but Liverpool have already regained the taste for goals upon their return to competitive football.
Very rarely does a weekend in the Premier League go by without a few gripes about VAR from managers, but Jurgen Klopp took on a different tone and bemoaned a lack of technology as the EFL Cup champions went out of the 2022-23 tournament in the fourth round. Fabio Carvalho and Mohamed Salah both made the net ripple for Liverpool, but their strikes were rendered inconsequential by Erling Braut Haaland, Riyad Mahrez and Nathan Ake before Klopp questioned the absence of VAR, highlighting early momentum-shifting chances where the offside flag was not raised. While the result was a shame for Klopp and co, the neutrals enjoyed a terrific watch between two heavyweights whose vigour was unaffected by the World Cup break, but Liverpool’s four-game winning run in competitive fixtures has now come to an abrupt end.
The Reds, who lost to Lyon before thumping AC Milan in the Dubai Super Cup, will spend Christmas Day in sixth place following their tumultuous start to proceedings – seven points off fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur with a game in hand – and victory over the Lilywhites on November 6 represents their only Premier League away win from their last six attempts. Each of Aston Villa’s last four meetings with Liverpool has ended in defeat for the home side, who still have that barnstorming 7-2 win from October 2020 to boast about, but the Reds have otherwise won a club-record 15 Premier League matches at Villa Park. The ever-controversial Emiliano Martinez recently became World Cup champion with Argentina and will not be available here, but the goalkeeper will receive a talking-to from Emery after his perpetual mocking of Kylian Mbappe in the Albiceleste celebrations.
Robin Olsen – assuming that he can overcome a minor unspecified problem – will therefore deputise for Villa, who remain without long-term absentee Diego Carlos, and Jacob Ramsey will take a couple of weeks to recover from a thigh problem. Ex-Reds attacker Philippe Coutinho is touch and go with a thigh injury but was never likely to start against his former club, although Danny Ings’s brace against Brighton will benefit his chances of lining up against his previous employers.
Similarly, Liverpool are without their own World Cup representative in France’s Ibrahima Konate, who will not return to training until December 27, but Virgil van Dijk should make a timely return in the heart of defence. On a more negative note, the injuries are piling up for Klopp once again, as James Milner (hamstring) and Roberto Firmino (calf) will miss the next couple of matches, joining Curtis Jones, Arthur, Luis Diaz and Diogo Jota on the treatment table. Trent Alexander-Arnold should be fine after illness, though. Alisson Becker will also return in goal for EFL Cup specialist Caoimhin Kelleher, while Darwin Nunez will be given a second bite of the cherry after wasting a multitude of chances at the Etihad.
Aston Villa return to Premier League action with a home game against Liverpool on Boxing Day. Unai Emery only took charge of three Villa matches – winning both of his Premier League bouts – before the World Cup ushered in a winter hiatus, leaving his new club in 12th during the off-season. Liverpool are up in sixth but only four points better off than the side which parted company with Steven Gerrard in October. Jurgen Klopp’s team has been consistently inconsistent this term; in the final month of the Premier League’s first act, Liverpool defeated Manchester City and Tottenham yet also lost to relegation candidates Leeds and Nottingham Forest.