Liverpool vs Aston Villa 2014 Swift Preview
With a couple of additions to Lambert’s squad and a fighting finish to the game against Arsenal on Monday night, Villa will be looking to repeat last season and shock the scouse locals. UTV
Brendan Rodgers on Villa:
“Paul Lambert is an outstanding manager and has had a big job to do at Aston Villa. They’re a team that will always fight.
“The other night, Aston Villa gave Arsenal a fight in the second half. I would expect it to be similar for us. They pose a threat.
We can’t make any mistakes this weekend.”
Lambert on the new signings:
“Holt was a no-brainer for me. For the three years he was with me at Norwich he was fantastic. He was a big character. I know what I’m going to get, I know what he can give to the club, and I think he’ll surprise a few people.
“As for Ryan, he brings a lot of big-game experience, not only in the league but even a Champions League final which Chelsea won, so he’ll be really good for us.
“The way he plays the game, and as a person too, he’ll fit in here great.”
Form is Temporary
Memory match: 15 December 2012 Liverpool 1 – 3 Aston Villa
Following a four-game unbeaten run Villa shocked their critics with a great win at Anfield. The second goal in particular will live long in the memory of Villa fans – Benteke’s back-heeled assist for Weimann goal!
Liverpool: Last five matches at home: W 5
Aston Villa: Last five matches away: W 2 D 1 L 2
One to Watch:
Luis Suarez – Who else? He just can’t stop scoring at the moment and he’s already bagged 22 goals this season. Truly terrifying for the defenders of any team and no doubt Lambert will have to come up with some plan to shackle the Uruguayan.
Facts to Sweep Under the Carpet
Liverpool’s home record is seriously impressive. While a lot has been made of Manchester City’s performances at the Etihad, Liverpool haven’t lost at home since the 21st September – their only defeat at Anfield, with the other nine games all bringing wins. With 27 home goals, they are second only to Manchester City in terms of scoring the most home goals. On the defensive side of things, Liverpool have the joint-stingiest defence in the league conceding only six goals at Anfield this season.
What We Pray the Football Gods Will Provide
The last fifteen minutes of the Arsenal match were both encouraging and frustrating in equal measure. While Benteke got a goal and we improved, why can’t we play like that for 90 minutes? While Villa’s counter-attacking style has its critics, it was effective last season at Anfield and might suit the game again on Saturday. Seeing how new signings Holt and Bertrand will figure in the team will also be interesting. Lambert is expected to thrust both of them into the matchday squad.
Why Villa have got this game in the bag
I’m tempting fate here, but Suarez is very average against the Villa, he’s only scored once in his four games against us, in a 1-1 draw in April 2012.
Villa’s loss against Arsenal, while disappointing, did remind many fans of the 2-1 loss to Newcastle last season, in which an improved second half performance kick-started the rest of the campaign. Liverpool’s home form is ominous but we beat them last season, and they might be a bit edgy about that. Our recent form in this fixture is surprisingly good – we’ve only lost one of our last four matches at Anfield. Benteke gave Liverpool a shock last season, and after finally scoring again after his drought on Monday, he’ll be looking to make Anfield his playground once again.
The two new loan signings are bound to boost spirits in the team as well, particularly Ryan Bertrand, who will hopefully add some long overdue solidity in the LB position and offer more options going forward. A Villa win here, would be the result of the season so far and help to lift the recent gloomy atmosphere at the club. UTV
Follow Lewis on Twitter – @rymondfootball