Liverpool vs. Aston Villa – Pre-game Assessment

Jürgen Klopp will likely be a little more nervous than Steven Gerrard this Saturday as he finds himself facing his protégé.  Sooner or later protégés have to beat their mentor – something that Klopp will be ruminating about. 

Meanwhile, Gerrard will be able to enjoy the buzz and the opportunity to do well at Anfield as a manager.  Similarly, Gerrard’s squad will be just as motivated to make the “gaffer” look good in front of his former team and fans.

It certainly helps that this suddenly rejuvenated Villa team has done everything asked of them by Gerrard.  They have played with conviction, have supported each other, limited mistakes and have been brave.

Coming off a come-from behind effort against Leicester where they could have easily added a couple of more goals to their tally, and with only Bailey and Traore missing from the squad, Gerrard can select a starting eleven that is very talented in every position and with an equally impressive bench.

The most important piece of good news was the return of Matt Targett who missed the last quarter of the game against Manchester City with a knock to the head and will benefit from the 10-day break.  The team will benefit from his ability to stifle Mo Salah and to support our offense.

Liverpool are almost back to full strength, but with Jota, Firmino, Jones, Elliott, and Phillips likely to be unavailable.  In this fixture last season, Watkins gave our Villans the lead before Salah broke through and we lost focus in injury time and let Trent Alexander-Arnold win all the marbles for his team.

I would not be at all surprised for Watkins to score again or for Salah continue his success in that department, but I do see that our Villans making a huge statement by coming away with a point.  How about Liverpool 2, our Villans 2?

We’ll take that. Thank you very much.

UTV.

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