On Saturday, May 20th, 2023, Liverpool will welcome Aston Villa to Anfield for the final home game of the season. With the Reds looking to keep their hopes of Champions League qualification alive, the game will mark the end of an era in more ways than one. Liverpool are currently on a seven-game winning streak and will be hoping for an eighth straight win against Unai Emery’s side. The Reds have already defeated Aston Villa 3-1 in the reverse fixture at Villa Park on Boxing Day.
Jurgen Klopp will be absent from the dugout due to a one-match ban for the events against Tottenham last month. He will be watching from the stands, but will be able to join the players on the pitch for the post-match ‘lap of thanks’ that will see Anfield serenade a departing quartet. Roberto Firmino and James Milner will likely receive commemorative gifts from the club, while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita may also be honored.
The game will be an emotional afternoon, as Firmino says farewell after eight years at the club. He was serenaded for 15 minutes during the 3-0 win at Leicester despite not being in the matchday squad and everyone at Anfield will be hoping he is able to make a cameo appearance from the bench on Saturday.
Emery has yet to get the better of Liverpool in any of his nine games as a manager, having lost his last six meetings against Jurgen Klopp. Darwin Nunez will miss out this weekend due to inflammation of the tendon in his toe, making it six different injuries he has encountered in his debut campaign at Anfield. Klopp confirmed that “the long-term injuries are still out but all the rest should be available.”
Liverpool’s home record has remained extremely solid this season, and a win on Saturday would secure a second-place finish in the Premier League’s ‘home table’ ahead of Arsenal. Mohamed Salah is also looking to make it 10 consecutive home appearances in which he has managed to get on the scoresheet, as well as making it five seasons in six in which he has recorded 20 or more in the Premier League.
The final home game of the season will also see Liverpool wearing their new home kit for the 2023/24 season for the first time. Following its launch earlier this month, fans will get to see the players show off the new kit in what will hopefully be a routine victory to close out the Anfield season.
John Brooks is the referee for this game, with Matthew Wilkes and James Mainwaring as assistants and Michael Oliver as fourth official. UK viewers will not be able to (legally) watch the action live on their television screens due to the 3pm kick off, so why not join us for a biased take on proceedings instead? Our very own matchday live blog will be available from 2.15pm (BST) to keep you up to date while events unfold at Anfield. Up the Reds!