Saturday, August 11, 2007

Liverpool vs Villa Preview!

English Premiership
Round 1

Villa Park
Aston Villa vs LIVERPOOL

Here we go lads, this is it. After 3 months of speculating transfers and listening out for rumours, the most important and most anticipated day is here.

With the revolving door of Liverpool moving really quickly this summer, there'll be some new faces and also some that have left us, probably unnoticed by you. But that's not the point.

This summer marks a turning point in Liverpool's history and the financially modest club is now willing to spend up to 20million GBP for a player showed the ambition of the club and it's owners.

But what is ambition when Liverpool often fell at the first hurdle, especially in recent times. Fans looking forward to the new season only to be disappointed right from the first game of the season. Last season's escape at Bramall Lane is one fine example.

This time round, it still wouldn't be easy.

Away at the revitalised and rejuvenated Aston Villa, they are a formidable opponents with some key signings in the summer such as Nigel Reo-Coker and Marlon Harewood, both from West Ham.

Manager, Martin O'Neill, has indeed inculcated a new style for the Villains, who have been slumbering for the past 2 decades or so. Despite winning the European Cup back in the 80s, they never seemed to build on it.

With American owner, Randy Lerner, acquiring the club last season, they have truly reformed and are ready to take the Premiership by storm. They are a bunch of disciplined and hardworking players and that makes up for their inferiority in the technical aspect.

To face Villa away from home in the first fixture is surely not the ideal circumstance to the uphill climb towards the holy grail but with almost no injury problems and new faces, Rafa Benitez has everything at his disposal and he just have to get it right this time round.

Fernando Torres look likely to partner Dutch striker, Dirk Kuyt upfront, leaving former Villa man, Peter Crouch, on the bench. Yossi Benayoun, too, is likely to replace Jermaine Pennant on the right flank after his impressive display in the friendlies.

Most importantly, and the most welcoming news is that Steven Gerrard will claim a central midfield spot.

Villa lost Thomas Sorensen, their goalkeeper, to injury earlier last week and that Stuart Taylor will replace him in goal. New loan signing, Scott Carson, arrives from Liverpool but is ineligible to take part in this game.

John Carew looks set to partner Gabriel Agbonlahor upfront with new signing, Nigel Reo-Coker supporting from central midfield, making his competitive debut.

Predicted Liverpool Lineup: Reina, Finnan, Agger, Carragher, Riise, Benayoun, Gerrard, Mascherano, Kewell, Kuyt, Torres;

Drogballs' Prediction: Aston Villa 0-1 Liverpool. An optimistic one, considering how much I rate Villa. But I think we have just enough quality to edge past them and probably win it by a moment of brilliance from someone.

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