Trezeguet & rarely-seen ace start, Dean Smith makes big calls: Predicted Villa XI – opinion

Trezeguet & rarely-seen ace start, Dean Smith makes big calls: Predicted Villa XI – opinion

After seeing off relegation-battling Fulham last weekend, Aston Villa return to Premier League action when they take on champions Liverpool at Anfield this afternoon.

Dean Smith’s side had to come from behind to beat the Cottagers at Villa Park, with goals from Trezeguet and Ollie Watkins sparking a second-half comeback.

While a trip to the reigning champions may sound like a daunting prospect, Villa will have fond memories of the last time they played Liverpool in the league, a 7-2 drubbing which saw Ollie Watkins grab a hat-trick.

Aside from Jack Grealish’s continued absence, Smith doesn’t have too many injury concerns with which to contend, but might opt to make a couple of key changes considering how the game against Fulham panned out.

With that in mind, below is a look at how Villa might line up against Liverpool.


In goal, Emiliano Martinez will be looking to keep a clean sheet after going three Premier League games without one, while the back four should also remain unchanged.

The midfield could see January signing Morgan Sanson drop out of the starting line-up, with John McGinn coming back in alongside Douglas Luiz.

After bagging a brace against Scott Parker’s side last week, Trezeguet has surely done enough to warrant a place in the first team, and he could replace Anwar El Ghazi just like he did at Villa Park six days ago.

The other big change could see the rarely-seen Keinan Davis start up front alongside Ollie Watkins in a slight tweak in formation, with the 23-year-old – who has played just 103 minutes of Premier League football this season – having sent an emphatic message to his manager with a superb cameo against Fulham.

It would certainly be a big call to go with two up top against a team like Liverpool, but it could well be the kind of tactical surprise which catches out Jurgen Klopp’s side.

Predicted XI: Martinez; Cash, Konsa, Mings, Targett; Traore, Luiz, McGinn, Trezeguet; Watkins, Davis.

Meanwhile, Dean Smith must start this “unbelievable” star vs Liverpool today…