Last season Liverpool sent their under-23s to Villa Park for the Carabao Cup quarter-final while the first team was in Qatar for the Club World Cup.
This time it is Aston Villa’s turn to field a team of youngsters because of a wave of positive Covid-19 tests washing through the West Midlands club.
Neither boss Dean Smith nor his first team stars will be present on Friday night.
Instead under-23s boss Mark Delaney will take charge and send out a team of youngsters in an ironic reversal of last season.
Liverpool meanwhile will be able to rely on a number of first team regulars, though don’t be surprised to see Jurgen Klopp rotate his squad.
What time is Aston Villa vs Liverpool?
Aston Villa vs Liverpool is one of two FA Cup third round ties that kick off at 7.45pm on Friday.
Both matches will be decided tonight as there are no replays in this year’s FA Cup.
Aston Villa vs Liverpool TV channel and live stream
BT Sport will be showing Friday night’s all-Premier League clash at Villa Park.
Coverage will begin on BT Sport 1 at 7pm, and subscribers will be able to stream the match through the BT Sport app.
Aston Villa vs Liverpool odds
If you were quick, you might have been able to ‘buy money.’ Villa were a big price earlier this week.
But a Covid outbreak at Villa’s training ground means that the champions will now be taking on a team of under-23 and under-18 players – with not even Villa’s senior management team present at Villa Park.
It’s a direct role reversal of last season’s League Cup quarter-final, when Liverpool were winning the Club World Cup, and Villa trounced the Reds’ youngsters 5-0.
As a result the best price available on the Reds now is 1/6, but they are as short as 1/10 with some bookies.
A Villa win ranges from 12/1 to 18/1.
Over 2.5 goals is a measly 1/4 with over 4.5 only 6/4. At least there should be goals to watch this evening – mostly from Reds fringe players like Takumi Minamino and Xherdan Shaqiri.