Liverpool travel to Steven Gerrard's Villa with the former LFC captain in no mood to help the reds stay in the title race.
Man City took advantage of the reds draw against Spurs when they continued their winning streak - beating Newcastle 5-0 to extend the gap at the top to three points.
The reds already needed City to drop points in their final few games, but they know need them to drop a minimum of three.
More importantly the reds must get immediately back to winning ways, and all this with the FA Cup Final looming on the horizon in just four days time.
Roberto Firmino is expected to return to the LFC squad after missing six games with a foot injury.
Here's how the game unfolded.
As it happened...
Liverpool have won 7 of the last 8 league meetings between these two teams.
But let's not forget the one win Villa had - in the Premier League here at Villa Park last season when they shocked the reds with a 7-2 hammering.
Still makes me shudder.
Liverpool are the only team in Europe's top five leagues not to have lost a league game in 2022. The reds have 13 wins and 3 wins in their 16 Premier League games since the turn of the new year.
Villa are unbeaten in their last three after losing all four of their previous games. They have had spells of brilliance and spells of despair in a topsy turvy campaign.
Tsimikas and Matip back into the defence. Firmino back in the matchday squad.
Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Tsimikas, Fabinho, Keita, Jones, Diaz, Jota, Mane.
Subs: Kelleher, Konate, Thiago, Milner, Firmino, Salah, Gomez, Henderson, Origi.
They bring in Marvelous Nakamba and some Brazilian called Philippe Coutinho...
Former red Danny Ings also in the starting line up.
Martinez, Cash, Konsa, Mings, Digne, Luiz, Nakamba, McGinn, Coutinho, Ings, Watkins.
Subs: Olsen, Sanson, Buendia, Traore, Chambers, Young, Chukwuemeka, Chrisene, Iroegbunam.
Players are out. This is about to get underway.
Liverpool in their cream away kit.
Underway at Villa Park.
3' It's a bad bad start. Memories of that 7-2 might be flashing through the reds heads.
Long ball over the top to Watkins. Cross to the back post, Douglas Luiz heads it down and then toe pokes the rebound.
7' JOEL MATIP!
It's a scruffy one now at the Aston Villa and from a Liverpool cross - Matip ends up poking it in.
14' A break in play after Ollie Watkins gets stood on by Joel Matip. Accidental but he's hurt his wrist.
Villa looking very lively here and play gets back underway.
17' Konsa with his hands all over Diogo Jota by the corner flag, and needlessly pushes him to the ground.
The reds earn a free kick, from next to the flag, but Villa clear inside their six yard box.
19' Great cross from Tsimikas, and it's a lovely leap and header from Mane.
Martinez didn't move but it edges just past the post.
I was halfway up celebrating there...
Alisson passes it straight to Watkins. Absolute mad choice of pass trying to give it back to Fabinho.
Somehow the Brazilian keeper scrambles that away.
23' Danny Ings should have scored there.
Training ground corner move and Ings is at the near post and just heads over.
29' Not good news. Fabinho looks like he's pulled a hamstring.
He's off and replaced by Henderson.
Fabinho has sat down on the bench so hopefully it's not the end of his season.
32' Keita slides a ball through the Villa defence - he passes it to Mane who slots it in.
Flag goes straight up as Diaz was some way offside in the build up.
35' Supreme pass from Trent Alexander-Arnold. Keita swings at it from about 8 yards out and it hits the back of his foot!
40' Bit of a tangle with Coutinho and Trent, and then Lucas Digne swings his arm into Luis Diaz' face.
Tasty end to this half - been a surprisingly evenly matched game so far.
Three added minutes.
HT: Villa 1-1 Liverpool
Villa scored inside three minutes, although two of their players were offside in the build up to the goal. Fortunately Liverpool hit back instantaneously through Joel Matip.
But it's been pretty grinding stuff and Liverpool lost Fabinho to a muscle injury in the middle of the half. Henderson has steadied the ship somewhat since coming on.
No changes for the reds.
Back underway. 1-1.
47' Good free kick from Trent. Narrowly wide of the goal. Martinez probably had it covered.
49' Coutinho has bought himself some space - its a two on one at the edge of the area. But van Dijk gets back and Coutinho slips.
51' Henderson spins on the ball and crosses it to the far post. Mix up between the Villa keeper and defender but it falls to safety.
52' Ball lifted to Watkins in the area and that's a fine penalty box challenge by Tsimikas to snuff out the danger.
End to end.
57' Trent sticks another one wide. Good positions both of those free kicks he has had in this half.
62' Marvelous Nakamba replaced by Carney Chukwuemeka.
62' Curtis Jones replaced by Thiago Alcantara.
65' Well that escalated quickly!
Luis Diaz with the cross and it's a lovely angled header by Sadio Mane to put the reds 2-1 UP!
68' Danny Ings latches on to a through ball but Alisson is straight out there to smother that. Very impressive goalkeeping.
70' Coutinho replaced by Buendia.
71' Mo Salah comes on, replacing Luis Diaz.
Thought Salah was going to score with his first touch. Causing all sorts of problems for the Villa defender but his first touch is heavy and Martinez dives at his feet to collect the ball.
75' Mo Salah flicks it goalbound and Matty Cash has to head that away from the goalline!
81' Ollie Watkins struggling a bit so Villa keep Ings on and take Watkins off. Bertrand Traore is on.
83' Keita fires a swerving shot from the edge of the box, but it swerves past the post.
84' Danny Ings twists and turns in the box, fires it at goal from 10 yards. Pushed away by the keeper and fortunately it narrowly misses another incoming Villa player.
85' Ings does score this time... but he's way offside. Flag goes straight up.
90' Liverpool don't look particularly under threat but it's still just the one goal lead.
Keita down injured.
90+2 Buendia heads over from a corner. Virgil with a lovely interception in the area to stop the attack in the build up to that corner.
FT: Villa 1-2 Liverpool
A deserved win for the reds who were made to work for it.
Hopefully the Fabinho injury isn't too serious.
The reds move level with Man City on 86 points having played one game more and with a goal difference of 3 less.
This is how it looks