Preview: Liverpool v Aston Villa

Liverpool v Aston Villa
Premier League, Saturday 7th April, 3pm

villa hLiverpool host relegation threatened Aston Villa at Anfield on Saturday, looking to end their abysmal run of form that has seen them lose six of their last seven Premier League games.

Kenny Dalglish is without goalkeeper Pepe Reina who was dismissed in the Newcastle defeat last Sunday, so Brazilian Alexander Doni will get his long awaited debut after arriving from AS Roma last summer.

Glen Johnson and Daniel Agger could return to the squad but are unlikely to start, so Jamie Carragher will no doubt continue at centre-back, leaving Sebastian Coates still out in the cold.

Who starts in attack is a million dollar question. Suarez of course, Carroll who knows, Bellamy maybe, Downing possibly, Kuyt unlikely and Maxi even more unlikely. Those last two are reported to be leaving this summer today, by the way.

In midfield, Jonjo Shelvey – one of the few bright spots in the dismal Newcastle defeat – will no doubt be replaced by the much maligned Jordan Henderson.

Possible LFC XI: Doni, Flanagan, Skrtel, Carragher, Enrique, Spearing, Gerrard, Henderson, Downing, Suarez, Carroll.

Interesting Fact: Jamie Carragher has made more appearances (25) against Villa than any Liverpool player ever. He made his full debut against them back in January 1997, incredibly scoring a header at the Kop end in a midfield role!

Here’s the EA Sports Player Performance Index pre-match stats;

• Liverpool suffered a 2-0 defeat to Newcastle in their last game

• As Liverpool prepare for a tough end to the season and an FA cup semi final, they will be looking to talismanic midfielder Steven Gerrard for inspiration

• Discounting players who have had fewer than twenty shots on goal, Gerrard has the second best shooting accuracy in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, getting 80% of his 25 shots at goal this season on target

• With Adel Taarabt scoring for QPR in their last game Stewart Downing now has the honour of being the player to have had most shots on goal without scoring (57)

• Aston Villa honoured captain Stiliyan Petrov by running Chelsea close in their last game

• Petrov has contributed more defensively for his team than any other midfielder in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, with 235 contributions across tackles, interceptions, blocks and clearances

• James Collins and Eric Lichaj scored to level the scores at 2-2 before Fernando Torres and Branislav Ivanovic made it 4-2

• Collins’ aerial ability has been put to more use at the other end of the pitch this season, making 71 clearances, the second highest total in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index

• Collins is also joint top of the index for blocks, having made 33 so far this season

• Overall, Collins has been the busiest defender in the league so far this season, making 334 defensive contributions across tackles, blocks, clearances, and interceptions, averaging one every seven minutes thirty seconds

• Stephen Warnock is second in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for tackles won with 77 won so far this season

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  • Ukrich

    ‘ the much maligned Jordan Henderson. ‘ there is a reason for being maligned and in hendersons case it as simple as he so far has offered nothing in attack, nothing in midfield,nothing in defense. i’ve been to 10 games this season a tbh he’s without doubt our worse player. 

    • Mark Smith

      Why 
      was  Henderson bought to  played on the right wing when
      A) It is not his position
      B) Kuyt can do the job better
      C) Maxi can do the job better

      In the summer I was mystified as every week we were linked with another central midfielder when at the time we had decent players in Miereles and Aquilani on top of Lucas, Gerrard and some pretty solid youth players coming through.

      If Dalglish didn’t rate Kuyt or Maxi, then at least buy a right midfielder/winger to do the job.

      Fair enough try him out of position for a couple of games, but when it doesn’t work stop before the lads confidence is ruined. 

      • Eskimo

        When gerrard cameinto the team we played him on the wing aswell to pick up the pace and then move him to the center. I think henderson has defenitely showed that he has a future at anfield he just needs more confidence to play a killer pass in the final third but he gets into some good positionS

        • Mark Smith

          Totally different player, Gerrard had pace and power to beat people he is an all round footballer and could play any position pretty well. Henderson at sunderland was good at finding through balls and setting people up (through the center). 

          • Eskimo

            Henderson has more pace than gerrard then and now put together. Offcourse he has played some terrible matches but so have stevie, reina and suarez. The Lad s still young enough to learn and its time the fans get behind him since ithought loyalty is where us lfc fans made the diffrence

    • Mark Smith

      Why 
      was  Henderson bought to  played on the right wing when
      A) It is not his position
      B) Kuyt can do the job better
      C) Maxi can do the job better

      In the summer I was mystified as every week we were linked with another central midfielder when at the time we had decent players in Miereles and Aquilani on top of Lucas, Gerrard and some pretty solid youth players coming through.

      If Dalglish didn’t rate Kuyt or Maxi, then at least buy a right midfielder/winger to do the job.

      Fair enough try him out of position for a couple of games, but when it doesn’t work stop before the lads confidence is ruined. 

  • Aron

    Time for youth. Shelvey should start, as should Coates. Stirling, eccleson and possibly even Suso and Wisdom on the bench. I would give Carroll another shot too, as he was looking decent last week until he flopped.

    • http://www.facebook.com/AlexKospenda Aleksandar Kospenda

      I would like to see sterling or suso on the bench

  • Ross

    Wow, when I look at that starting eleven I can see why we are now a mid table team. It is the weakest LFC I have ever seen.

  • Nick

    Depressingly I see another 1-1 draw at best, Villa win is even more likely.

  • Saito

    I hope coates starts with srktel. Carra no longer brings anything to the team and when else are you gonna give coates a proper chance? and please drop henderson or stop playing him on the wings. Give Maxi and shevey proper game time. Whats to lose?