Aston Villa v Liverpool 2014/15
After unacceptable performances and with a protest planned, Lambert is facing pressure from fans and media alike. The signing of Carles Gil from Valencia has potential to inject a bit of life into the squad but the Villans face a hard task against an improved Liverpool side.
Lambert on Liverpool
“They’ve found a bit of form of late. They’ve got top players. They’ve spent an awful lot of money on players and are probably not where Brendan would have liked them to be at this stage of the season. But they’re still a really top side.
“We’re capable of winning games. I know that because I can see the lads. We just have to get it sorted in the last third. I think the match with Liverpool has the makings of a really good game.
“We’ve always had good games against them and I don’t visualise this one being any different. I think it will be another good match. We have to try and win. We have to find a way to win. We have to create, make things happen and play with freedom. That’s what we have to go and do. ”
Rodgers on Villa
“They obviously may not have scored a lot of goals which has been highlighted but they don’t concede many either. I think they’re in the top five teams in the league in terms of goals conceded so that tells you everything.
“We had a difficult game against them early on in the season where we conceded from a sloppy corner and then just couldn’t make the breakthrough.
“In my couple of seasons here we’ve gone there and played very very well. It’s a beautiful pitch… the pitch is fantastic, it suits our game but we know it will be a tough game for us.”
22nd May 2011 Aston Villa 1 Liverpool 0
A first-half goal from Stewart Downing was the difference as Villa ended the 2010/11 season in style.
Villa– Last five matches at home: W 1, D 4
Liverpool– Last five matches away: W 3, L 2
Villa have won once in the last five clashes at Villa Park – the other four encounters were all losses
One to Watch
Raheem Sterling – the winger has been a stand-out performer for Liverpool in recent fixtures and is likely to feature this weekend having returned from holiday.
Facts to Sweep Under the Carpet
Liverpool are one of those teams who always seem to have an edge when they Visit B6, regardless of current form. It is, then, unfortunate for the Villa Park faithful that Rodgers’ men have been on a decent run lately.
History is well on truly on their side – they’ve only lost once in their last SIXTEEN visits to Villa Park.
The Leicester game had an air of inevitability about it as Villa struggled against the team 20th in the table. Only one or two moments stood out as genuine goalscoring opportunities for Lambert’s side and Leicester could have won the game comfortably but for poor finishing.
Villa’s goal-shy forwards with have their work cut out on Saturday – we’ve only scored five goals in the last fifteen league home matches against Liverpool.
What We Pray the Football Gods Will Provide
Villa’s recent style of football has been terrible and although he’s only just joined the club it might be that Lambert throws new signing Gil straight into action.
Valencia seemed reluctant to let him leave and the Spaniard could make an instant impact and improve the dull playing style of late – hopefully he gets a chance to shine.
Regardless of his involvement, Villa need to vary their football somehow. Hoofing the ball up to Benteke as a key strategy was never going to work on its own – but it did sometimes get results.
Our improved possession stats mean nothing if we don’t pose an attacking threat, so it would be nice to see Villa vary the tactics and occasionally try and take advantage of the Belgian’s aerial ability.
Why Villa Have Got This Game in the Bag
Villa always pick up points when they’re least expected, seemingly one of few positive traits that can give the fans hope heading into a game like this.
Despite our woeful record of Liverpool home clashes though, we’ve recently impressed against them, albeit when at Anfield rather than Villa Park. Still, in the last two seasons it’s been tight and it’s only been decided by a goal.
There are few stats Lambert can brag about as Villa manager but he has a decent record against his managerial opponent on Saturday. He’s won four out of seven games against Rodgers, only losing twice.
While we always hear of Gerrard’s good record against Villa Benteke is fond of playing Liverpool and has scored four goals in four appearances against them – more than he has against any other team.
As pressure mounts on Lambert the long-suffering fans need to see a change in approach on Saturday. If we do see more from the team and they get on the front foot to create chances, then the crowd on side and behind them. will go with them, as the more chances are created, there’s no reason why we can’t bag a welcome three points and complete the double.
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