Houllier Returns To Anfield
I should imagine a nice reception awaits Houllier tomorrow...
Liverpool fans welcome back Gerard Houllier who gained the club 7 pieces of silverware in his time at Anfield. Nobody will will forget particularly his UEFA Cup win in 2001 and as a manager he was always well respected by both players and fans in his stint at the club.
Now at Aston Villa, he already has some flavours of Liverpool past under his belt with players such as Heskey, Friedel and Warnock who have all spent time with the Reds. Another familiar face also spending some quality time with Houllier is none other than Gary McAllister, who is also well aquainted with Anfield territory.
Currently Villa are not in the greatest of positions although Houllier's boys have managed to pull off respectable draws against tough opposition in the likes of Chelsea and Manchester United.
The only victory Villa have over Liverpool in the last 17 meetings between the clubs is a 3-1 win from right at the start of the 2009/2010 campaign. Unfortunately it spelled out a tough season for Liverpool which later saw Aston Villa finish above us in the table.
For Liverpool tomorrow we still have some large injury worries, Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher are both unavailable and also out are Jay Spearing and Daniel Agger.
After the boost to Milan Jovanovic in the week against Steaua Bucharest i feel there may be a benefit in starting the Serbian. Joe Cole is also freshly back from injury and will more than likely start.
Torres after having a rest will surely be raring to go and after last season's dying minutes winner in the snow, we all know he's capable of changing a game when needs be.
For Liverpool, the shaken up defence and building up of new partnerships could cause early problems, although i feel Kyrgiakos has more than enough experience to handle Villa tomorrow i have been disappointed of late with Skrtel's performances.
Aston Villa are without Ashley Young due to suspension with Bannan and Beye both doubts. Out injured are Heskey, Albrighton, Delph, Petrov, Reo-Coker, Sidwell and Weimann. Perhaps this explains some of Villa's struggles of late, however the squad left available still creates a side with strength.
My prediction for Liverpool tomorrow is a 2-1 win. As much as i would love Reina to get his clean sheet in order for him to become the fastest ever goalkeeper at Liverpool to reach 100 clean sheets, i just can't see Villa not being able to put one in the back of our net.
A confident start would do us the world of good but after starting well against Spurs, we all saw what happened there. We need to focus and keep a strong line of defence, the added hold up play of David Ngog could be valuable in order to get some decent attacks going but if he isn't started i still have a feeling that Torres or Kyrgiakos will be able to get us on the score sheet and on the way to a well needed 3 points.