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Match Preview: Villa v Liverpool


villafan306
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Aston Villa v Liverpool

Barclays Premiership

Location: Villa Park

Date: Saturday 11th August 2007

Kick Off Time: 17:15

Finally football has come back to England! Yes that's right folks, tomorrow marks the beginning of a new season and one which could define the new direction in which Villa is heading. For one day talk of transfers will be put aside as the attention turns to B6 where Champions League runners up Liverpool are the first to visit Villa Park.

First of all let's focus on the home team. Villa go into the season without a recognised right back at the club which means that Craig Gardner will probably be playing in the postition he has filled on a few occassions in claret and blue. Expect to see Wilfred Bouma, Olof Mellberg and Martin Laursen line up alongside him. Thomas Sorensen's injury means that Stuart Taylor will play in goal as new recruit Scott Carson cannot play against the club he has been loaned from. All signs point to a debut for Nigel Reo-Coker who has impressed in pre-season and fellow former hammer Marlon Harewood could make his Premiership debut for Villa, but it is likely to be from the bench. John Carew is expected to start despite missing the last week of pre-season with a groin strain. Barry, Petrov and Young will probably join NRC in midfield and either Agbonlahor or Moore will partner Carew in attack.

Aston Villa:

Injured Players: Thomas Sorensen (Hamstring)

Unavailable Players: Scott Carson (Terms of Loan Agreement)

Possible Debutants: Nigel Reo-Coker, Marlon Harewood

Player to watch: Gareth Barry - Captain fantastic lived up to his name in the pre-season game against Inter Milan last week and will be instrumental in any chance of Villa getting something from this one.

Unlike Villa, Liverpool have made a lot of noise in the transfer market. The cash has been well and truly splashed at Anfield this summer with the most lauded signing being Fernando Torres who was signed for something in the £25million area. Another exciting prospect is Ryan Babel, the Dutch under 21 was signed for £11.5million and could prove to be one of the best signings of the summer. Bargain of the summer (in my opinion) will also be awarded to Liverpool, this time for the signing of Andriy Voronin (Free). Shevchenko's international strike partner has a few years less on the clock and has the pace to adapt to the English game quickly. I'm not going to pretend to know what Bentiez will do regarding team selection tomorrow, though I'd imagine Kuyt and Torres will lead the line.

Liverpool:

Injured Players: None

Unavailable Players: None

Possible Debutants: Fernando Torres, Andriy Voronin, Yossi Benayoun, Ryan Babel, Lucas Leiva, Nikolay Mihaylov, Charles Itandje

Player to watch: Steven Gerrard - Gerrard is our Reo-Coker.....or something like that. Stevie G is probably the best midfielder in the country at the moment and is sure to chip in with a few goals this season.

Prediction:

I really, honestly wouldn't be surprised to see us win this one. Liverpool never really seem to hit the ground running and with the pace we have in attack we will create some chances. I think Torres will need a little time to adapt to the English game and that is why I'm going for a 2-1 Villa victory.

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should be interesting to see how we line up in this one. Barry has been playing central mid and for me it's his best position.

so we could see a kind of hybrid 4-3-3 type formation.

or even a kind of 4-1-2-3 thype thing with NRC anchoring the back 4.

However, i think it'll be more fluid than that, as NRC has a good engine on him and will get forward and back regularly.

It'll be interesting to see if Ash is consigned to a certain wing or not, of if he just "roams".

I'll also be unhappy if harewood comes off the bench before Moore to replace JC who will not last the 90 minutes.

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should be interesting to see how we line up in this one. Barry has been playing central mid and for me it's his best position.

so we could see a kind of hybrid 4-3-3 type formation.

or even a kind of 4-1-2-3 thype thing with NRC anchoring the back 4.

However, i think it'll be more fluid than that, as NRC has a good engine on him and will get forward and back regularly.

It'll be interesting to see if Ash is consigned to a certain wing or not, of if he just "roams".

I'll also be unhappy if harewood comes off the bench before Moore to replace JC who will not last the 90 minutes.

I can imagine us playing closer to a 4-3-1-2. Should be a good game, and plenty of the media are saying 'Hey, Villa might have a chance here'. That's a rarity.

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