The chase is on for Jurgen Klopp’s side to achieve a top four finish (and perhaps even more) as the Premier League resumes. A disappointing first 14 games has Liverpool on just 22 points, nearer to Wolves at the bottom of the table than Arsenal at its summit. Indeed, if they were to lose against Aston Villa they would find the Midlands’ side just a point off them, a reminder as well that Unai Emery’s side ended the first period of the season on an impressive high.Villa have lost eight of their last nine meetings with Liverpool in the Premier League though when they did win they won big, a stunning 7-2 victory in October 2020. A repeat result may not be on the cards but Emery will be hoping to make it three top flights wins from three on Boxing Day. Here is how you can watch the game and what you need to know:
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Viewing informationDate: Monday, Dec. 26 | Time: 12:30 p.m. ETLocation: Villa Park, BirminghamTV: USA | Live stream: fuboTV (try for free)Odds: Aston Villa +360; Draw +300; Liverpool -143 (via Caesars Sportsbook)
Featured Game | Aston Villa vs. Liverpool
StorylinesAston Villa: Emery may well feel he has unfinished business with Liverpool as he prepares to face them for the eighth time. The Spaniard got the best of the Reds in their first meeting — the 2016 Europa League final — but since then matters have gotten worse. He drew against them in his first match in charge at Arsenal, and has lost every game since, including both legs of the Champions League semifinal last season.Though a return date has not been confirmed for Emiliano Martinez it is fair to assume that Argentina’s number one will not be rushed back from his World Cup celebrations, which one assumes might still be going long into 2023.Craving more World Cup coverage? Listen below and follow House of Champions, a daily CBS Sports soccer podcast, bringing you top-notch analysis, commentary, picks and more. From Champions League to Serie A, Premier League to MLS, we’ve got you covered. Liverpool: Klopp would have been hoping that the World Cup break offered time for a reset at a club that was addled by injuries in the early weeks of the season, so it does not augur well that Luis Diaz suffered a setback during Liverpool’s Dubai training camp. It was, “a smash in the face”, according to his manager. Add to it Diogo Jota’s absence until the new year and the Reds may well have to make do and mend in attack, though at least Darwin Nunez returned from the World Cup quickly to join Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah.PredictionAston Villa did not have to cope without too many of their senior players at the World Cup and may make life tough for Liverpool but expect the Reds to eventually get the job done. PICK: Aston Villa 1, Liverpool 2