Liverpool: The View From Villa Park
As part of Vital Liverpool's buildup to the Premier League clash with Aston Villa we've interviewed a Villan (I think he's CRB checked) for his thoughts...
Saturday afternoon's Premier League match between Liverpool and Aston Villa sees a clash between the sides currently in 10th and 17th place respectively.
Despite their lowly looking positions both sides have been in good form of late leaving fans hoping for a quick rise up the table.
A big thank you to Vital Villa's aptly named Mike Field for agreeing to answer the following questions for us...
Q. How has your season gone so far and where do you expect to finish?
Not very well so far, but to be fair it is how it was expected given all the changes, new manager, tactics and 6 odd new players to the league in itself. There are good signs of improvement this last month though and we now just need results to start going for us and things would look a lot healthier.
I think 14th place is doable given the signs we are seeing and the confidence boost I hope we take into the game against you from the Norwich cup result, but survival is simply enough in my mind for this season. One point or goal difference I'd be happy with, but I do think we'll be a bit more comfortable than it coming to that.
Q. Who are the Aston Villa player(s) we should look out for?
Assuming we revert mainly back to the squad we played against Stoke following the cup win, I'd pick out Clark, Bannan, and Benteke. However I'd imagine Weimann will keep his place after his brace the other day, and he thoroughly deserves it. All will bring something different, but all are destined to be huge players I think. Clark is getting stronger in defence, Bannan is capable of opening anybody up and you'll have already seen or heard how important Benteke is becoming for us and what a handful he is. Weimann isn't as physical but can put himself about, he is also a very natural and clinical finisher and his movement is wonderful for a kid of his age and experience.
Q. What have you made of Liverpool so far this season and where do you expect us to finish?
I thought it would be a bit topsy turvey for you with Rodgers coming in and changing things around, but I am somewhat amazed looking at your performances and results that a lot of your existing players seemed to have struggled as they have. I think if you finish top 10 you should be pleased with the season, although like us, it does seem to be coming together now for you.
Q. Do you believe Brendan Rodgers was the right man for the job and will prove a success long-term?
Yes. I would not have been uphappy had he arrived at B6 given his ethos and desire to play good football and in the right way. In many ways there are huge parellels between what both clubs are trying to achieve. The biggest risk is the first season, the changes taking longer than would be considered comfortable ie the risk of the drop or a very unsatisfactory final league position - but in the long term there can only be benefits having the club moving in one position all the way from the Academy, producing your own, and having everybody drilled in the same tactics. But it has to be stuck with.
Q. Which Liverpool player(s) do you rate the most and why?
I certainly wouldn't argue with Joe Allen, and we do currently lack a talisman like Gerrard. The one I would truly nick given half a chance is the young lad Sterling. I don't know if he deserves the praise he's getting based on an overall performance in 90 minutes, but it seems he certainly deserves it based on the highlights I've seen.
Q. What is your probable line up for the game and how do you think you can be successful against Liverpool?
Guzan, Lowton, Clark, Baker, Herd, Lichaj, Westwood, Bannan, Holman, Benteke, Weimann.
Q. What's your prediction for the result?
I had a funny feeling about Norwich, and I've got one about this weekend too. 2-0 to us, but many I imagine would take the draw.
Click here for our full Premier Preview of the game
Click here to read former Red Mark Lawrenson's prediction
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