Aston Villa vs. Liverpool: Live stream, how to watch FA Cup 2021 (Fri., Jan. 8)
Aston Villa is set to host Liverpool in the third round of the FA Cup on Friday, despite fears the match would be postponed as a result of a significant COVID-19 outbreak in the Villans camp. Instead of calling the game off due to a number of first team players and staff missing out, including manager Dean Smith, Aston Villa will field a squad consisting mainly of youth players while being managed by U23 boss Mark Delaney. It’ll be a reversal of last year’s Carabao Cup quarterfinals meeting between the two sides, when Liverpool had to field a starting XI of reserves while the senior squad playing in the Club World Cup on the same day. Although they may play a weaker side than usual, the Reds will have revenge on their minds after losing 7-2 to the Villans in an English Premier League matchup back in October.
Friday’s match will air only on ESPN+. It’s a standalone service that isn’t covered by a normal ESPN subscription. Therefore, the match will not be available on WatchESPN or any ESPN cable channels.
TV channel/schedule: N/A - The match isn’t on normal TV channels and can only be streamed via ESPN+ in the U.S.
What is ESPN+? - ESPN+ isn’t a replacement for a normal ESPN subscription through your cable provider. Instead, it’s an auxiliary service that provides original content and some live sports. It also gives customers access to exclusive content on ESPN.com and access to pay-per-view MMA events.
How much does ESPN+ cost? - Viewers can sign up for $5.99 a month to get all ESPN+ content (this does not include standard live sports on Watch ESPN) and $59.99 a year. There’s also an option to bundle ESPN+ with Hulu and Disney+ for $12.99 per month.
More soccer coverage via the Associated Press:
BIRMINGHAM, England (AP) — Ten players from Aston Villa’s squad are isolating after testing positive for the coronavirus, forcing the club to field youth players for its FA Cup match against Liverpool on Friday.
Villa said the third-round game against the English champions will go ahead as scheduled at Villa Park despite the virus outbreak among the senior squad that led to the training ground being closed.
Villa chief executive Christian Purslow said there were 14 positive cases — 10 of which were players — from two rounds of tests, on Monday and Thursday.
After another round of testing for COVID-19, Villa confirmed Friday that the game will be played. The team will be filled with players from the under-18 and under-23 squads, with under-23 manager Mark Delaney leading the team in place of manager Dean Smith.
Villa’s next game in the Premier League is against Tottenham on Wednesday, and Purslow didn’t know whether that match would go ahead.
Three Premier League games — Everton vs. Manchester City, Tottenham vs. Fulham, and Burnley vs. Fulham — were postponed in recent weeks because of COVID-19 outbreaks among clubs.
Many more games have been called off in England’s lower divisions.
On Friday, the English Football League, which runs the three divisions below the Premier League, reported 112 positive cases out of 3,507 players and staff members who were tested in the latest round of checks. That is an infection rate of 3%.