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Match Preview: Liverpool v Aston Villa: A Certain Magician Returns Back into the Fold

670   //    15 Dec 2012, 10:38 IST

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – APRIL 07: Steven Gerrard of Liverpool beats Stephen Ireland of Aston Villa during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Aston Villa at Anfield on April 7, 2012 in Liverpool, England.

Liverpool welcome Aston Villa to Anfield today afternoon on the back of two good wins, and will hope to extend their good form with a good result today.

Team News

Fabio Borini and Martin Kelly are still out on the sidelines, with them not likely to return anytime this month, whilst Jose Enrique and Nuri Sahin doubts for the encounter with a hamstring problem and a facial injury respectively. An injury to Enrique might signal for another chance for Englishman Joe Cole to build on his performance last week where he scored against his former club West Ham United.

Luis Suarez is also available for selection once again, with him serving his 1 match ban for being on the receiving end of 5 yellow cards this season against West Ham last week. He will most definitely be starting as striker up front in place of our youngster Jonjo Shelvey.

Here are Aston Villa’s injuries:

Stilian PetrovOut
Richard DunneOut
Enda StevensOut
Gary GardnerOut
Joe BennettOut
Ron VlaarDoubtful
Darren BentDoubtful

Information Provided by

My Probable Liverpool FC Lineup:

Reina; Wisdom-Agger-Skrtel-Johnson; Allen-Lucas; Sterling-Gerrard-Cole; Suarez

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – APRIL 07: Stewart Downing of Liverpool beats Alan Hutton of Aston Villa during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Aston Villa at Anfield on April 7, 2012 in Liverpool, England.

The Liverpool Game

It will definitely be about the possession yet again, and it will be up to Luis Suarez and company to try and put the game to bed quickly. Liverpool traditionally do very well when they take the early initiative and scored the first goal – so the reds will need to get out of the blocks fairly quickly. They have a poor record coming from behind, so they will need to try and stop that from happening.

Ideally, Gerrard should be given a completely no-restrictions role, considering we have Lucas Leiva back at a better fitness condition than last week and Joe Allen there to provide him protection. Raheem Sterling will need to test the Aston Villa fullbacks, whilst Joe Cole and Gerrard will likely interchange a lot given the nature of Cole to cut in and get his shots off.

Jordan Henderson

Last of all, I would just like to talk about Jordan Henderson. I like him as a player, I like him a lot. A lot of Liverpool fans might not agree. Get me straight. I’m not saying that he is worth the 14 million pounds or so (just yet). I’m saying I like his game.

I reckon with rumours swirling about Fulham’s interest in signing the Englishman, I would just talk a bit about him today. I think he should stay. The most Rodgers can do is send him out on loan, but with Europa League not finished yet and FA Cup fixtures to come, we’re going to need a capable squad player like Henderson to step in.

Like Cole, he has impressed in his last few games, therefore I think it would be unwise to cut him loose right now. Henderson has a game suited to the Tiki-taka. He passes backwards, he passes sideways. He’s a bit like a Joe Allen who passes forward just that little bit more. A supremely young and talented player.

Don’t cut him loose yet Rodgers. You might just regret it.

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