Aston Villa vs Liverpool – Pre-game Assessment

If anything, our Villans have the psychological edge this coming Tuesday.  The loss of two points against Spurs on the weekend makes the Reds’ hopes of the triple (Champions League, F.A. Cup, and Premier League title) very unlikely in that Manchester City have to lose at Wolves or at West Ham, or home to Villa to make that happen.  Reds must be conscious that they are chasing the impossible dream.

Man City’s current devastating Premier League form, and their lack of other silverware options available, suggests that they will be as focused as they were against Newcastle.  Liverpool are favored to win the other two tournaments and that might be enough to satisfy their hunger for success.

Our Villans would like to think so.  Given our recent improvement, the team has to feel positive about its chances.  They can find encouragement in that the Reds have been having difficult manufacturing gilt-edged chances as can be seen from their shots on goal stats.  Even more telling is how many of those shots are coming from distance or from headers from corners. Still, that Firmino might be available for the Reds could be significant.

Our Villans, for their part, might go with youth to compete with the fitness levels they will be facing.  Certainly, Iroegbunam will bring lots of pace and stamina and will help to offset the likely loss of Ramsey.  Most significantly, having the option of starting with Buendia will allow Gerrard to keep Coutinho on the bench to bring into the game later.

With Chambers likely to replace the error-prone Konsa, I expect a solid defensive performance and enough imagination and running up front for one of Watkins or Ings likely to score.  If we score first, we could nip a win.  More likely we will have to fight until the end to tie the game.

Prediction:  AVFC 1, Liverpool 1.


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