After winning their opening two Premier League games, Aston Villa face a tougher test against last season’s champions Liverpool who have won their opening three games.
Dean Smith will be hoping for a much-improved performance after Villa's disappointing loss to Stoke City in the Carabao Cup mid-week.
Both Liverpool and Villa are on impressive winning runs thus far in the Premier League this season, and will be looking to extend their impressive form at Villa Park.
After picking up a knock against Stoke, defender Kortney Hause is expected to be a miss from the matchday squad. Bjorn Engles has been photographed in training but is still expected to miss out on a spot in the squad.
Jacob Ramsey will hope to be included in the matchday squad again, after impressing in the Carabao Cup and his brief cameo against Fulham.
Ross Barkley will be hoping to make his Villa debut against his bitter rivals, after spending most of his career at Everton, Barkley will have plenty to prove on Sunday if he features.
Villa will still be without Tom Heaton and Wesley Moares who are sidelined with long term injuries.
As for Liverpool, Jurgen Klopp confirmed Jordan Henderson has been training and is no longer injured, the midfielder is most likely lacking match fitness which is holding him back from featuring at Villa Park.
The Reds will also be without Sadio Mane and Thiago who have both recently tested positive for COVID19 after experiencing some light symptoms, both are isolating for the recommended timeframe.
Liverpool will be without Rihan Brewster, the youngster has departed and joined Sheffield United in a £23m deal.
Villa XI: Martinez; Cash, Konsa, Mings, Targett; Luiz, McGinn, Barkley; Trezeguet, Watkins, Grealish (4-3-3)
Liverpool XI: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson; Wijnaldum, Keita, Fabinho; Salah, Firmino, Jota (4-3-3)
Villa have had an impressive start to the season, winning four of their five fixtures so far. Despite losing to Stoke City in the Carabao Cup, Smith’s men looked impressive in wins against Burton Albion and Bristol City in the Cup.
In the Premier League, Villa have so far overcome Sheffield United and Fulham – keeping a clean sheet in both games and scoring four goals. Villa are currently the only team in the Premier League to keep a clean sheet in every game this season but may find it difficult to maintain that statistic against last season’s champions.
Liverpool have also impressed this season and remained undefeated in their opening five games in all competitions, most recently earning their spot in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals after defeating Arsenal on penalties after regular time.
Ones to Watch
Ollie Watkins: Arguably Villa's most exciting signing of the summer, Ollie Watkins has already proved to be vital as the spearhead of Villa's attack. The £33m price tag has risen the eyebrows of many outside the club, but the forwards prolific numbers in the Championship point towards Watkins hitting the ground running in the Premier League.
Watkins intelligent runs and pace will prove to be difficult for the Liverpool defence to deal with, Villa will benefit from having such an impressive outlet up-front.
Virgil Van Dijk: Virgil Van Dijk has undoubtedly threw his hat in the ring as one of the best defenders that the Premier League has ever seen, but has proved to have a chink in his armour this season - letting Leeds’s Patrick Bamford get the better of him on their opening game of the season
Last season Villa put in two full-hearted performances against Liverpool but ultimately walked away with no points from both encounters.
Aston Villa 1-2 Liverpool (02/11/2019)
At Villa Park last season Villa pushed Liverpool all the way but crumbled in the 94th minute as Sadio Mane ruined Villa's night.
Villa took the lead early on thanks to Trezeguet, who slotted home at the back post to put the hosts 1-0 up early on, though this wasn’t enough to see the game out as goals from Andrew Robertson and Mane meant the visitors left Birmingham with three points.
The fans played a massive part in Villa's resilience for the majority of the game - without the Villa faithful to back them, Villa could find this difficult.
Where to Watch on TV
For UK Residents, Sky Sports will be broadcasting the game which is a 19:45 kick-off on Sky Sports Main Event.
For those who aren’t subscribed to Sky Sports – NowTV have a Sky Sports Month pass + boost HD available for £25 for the month. This offer is available till 23:59 on 4 October.
Both sides are on impressive win runs in the Premier League, inevitably one must drop points. Liverpool’s perfect start is made even more impressive that they’ve already dispatched of both Chelsea and Arsenal, alongside a resolute Leeds side.
Whilst Villa’s form is impressive, the task ahead will undoubtedly be a tough one for Dean Smith’s men to overcome and will act as a yardstick for how far Villa have come in such a short period of time.
If Villa are to get a result against last seasons champions, they must be patient and look to spring Liverpool on the counter. Leeds proved that Liverpool can be vulnerable on the counterattack, by soaking up the pressure and allowing the visitors to have possession, Villa may well be able to steal a goal.
Despite Liverpool’s squad being weakened by the Coronavirus pandemic, with players such as Diogo Jota able to step in for Mane, they should be able to see this one out. Jota got his first Premier League goal for Liverpool against Arsenal last week, the Portuguese forward will be looking to continue his impressive form against Villa.
Prediction: Aston Villa 1-2 Liverpool.