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How Liverpool could line up against Aston Villa

Sports Mole looks at how champions Liverpool could line up for Sunday's Premier League clash with relegation-threatened Aston Villa at Anfield.

Liverpool's first home match as Premier League champions sees them welcome relegation-threatened Aston Villa to Anfield on Sunday.

Jurgen Klopp's side were well beaten by previous champions Manchester City on Thursday night in their first match since securing the title for the first time in 30 years, but they will be expected and eager to return to winning ways in this one.

The Reds still have a number of records to aim for this season, with five more wins needed from their final six games to record more points and wins than any other team in Premier League history.

Here, Sports Mole looks at how they could line up for Villa's visit.

Possible LIV XI vs. AVL

Out: Joel Matip (toe), Xherdan Shaqiri (calf)
Doubtful: Dejan Lovren (knock)

> Click here for Liverpool's latest injury and suspension news ahead of this match

Klopp has promised that he will not let Liverpool take their foot off the pedal in the closing weeks of the season, and that he will not hand out appearances "like sweets".

True to his word, the XI named against Manchester City was the same as the one he named against Crystal Palace in his previous match, and was what many would consider to be their strongest possible lineup.

However, one or two changes are expected to that team for this match - as much due to the quick turnaround in fixtures as the nature of their defeat against City.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who came on at half time against Man City, will be one of those pushing for a start, while Naby Keita will also be hopeful of a place.

James Milner is in contention against his former club having overcome a hamstring injury, while Dejan Lovren could also be available after missing out against City as a precaution.

Joe Gomez was the man hooked at half time as Fabinho dropped in at centre-back, but he is in line to start again alongside Virgil van Dijk in what could be an unchanged back five.

The front three could also remain untouched, with Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah both no doubt desperate to play as they chase another Golden Boot.

Salah has scored 49 Premier League home goals in 59 outings for Liverpool and Chelsea and could join Alan Shearer as the only players to reach the half-century milestone in 60 games or fewer.

Roberto Firmino, meanwhile, will be looking to end a goal drought at home in the league which stretches back 16 months and 17 matches since March 2019.

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Liverpool's James Milner celebrates scoring their second goal with Jordan Henderson and Divock Origi on October 5, 2019
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