Liverpool v Aston Villa preview

Team news for Monday night's Premier League clash between Liverpool and Aston Villa at Anfield (kick-off 8pm).

Last Updated: 03/12/10 at 15:10

Kyrgiakos: Set to start

Kyrgiakos: Set to start

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Sotirios Kyrgiakos will take Jamie Carragher's place in central defence as the vice-captain undergoes a shoulder operation on Friday.

Carragher sustained a dislocation in last weekend's defeat at Tottenham and is likely to be out for three months, leaving the team with only two senior centre-backs in the former Greece international and Martin Skrtel.

Manager Roy Hodgson will welcome back his first-choice players having left eight at home - only three of whom were injured - for the Europa League draw with Steaua Bucharest.

Captain Steven Gerrard is likely to be at least another week away from returning from a hamstring injury sustained on England duty last month while no date has been set for defender Daniel Agger's return.

Aston Villa winger Ashley Young is suspended for the game.

Young collected his fifth booking of the campaign during the Carling Cup semi-final defeat against Birmingham in midweek and will have to serve a one-game ban.

Midfielder Barry Bannan is also rated doubtful by Villa boss Gerard Houllier after being substituted with a groin injury against Blues.

Stephen Ireland and Robert Pires will come under consideration for a recall to the starting line-up.

Former Liverpool striker Emile Heskey has resumed training following a knee problem but it is too early for him to be considered against the Reds.

Liverpool (from): Reina, Johnson, Skrtel, Kyrgiakos, Konchesky, Lucas, Meireles, Kuyt, Rodriguez, Torres, Ngog, Jones, Aurelio, Kelly, Poulsen, Cole, Babel, Jovanovic, Pacheco.

Villa (from): Friedel, Guzan, L Young, Collins, Dunne, Cuellar, Warnock, Bannan, Clark, Hogg, Downing, Agbonlahor, Ireland, Pires, Bannan, Carew, Delfouneso, Lichaj, Lowry, Johnson.

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