Victory at Villa Park is Vital

By Jack Watson on Dec 15, 11 08:10 PM in


Kenny Dalglish takes his resurgent side to the Midlands this weekend, where he will face Alec McLeish's Aston Villa. Both clubs have seen change in the past 12 months and are both trying to move further up the Premier League table.

Victory for either side is massive. A win for Liverpool keeps them right in the middle of a scrap for that elusive fourth Champions League spot and maintains and their strong away form.

A win for Villa will see them edge closer to the European places and improve confidence no end.

The atmosphere around Anfield, in recent weeks, has been tense. Everyone involved at the club are fully backing Luis Suarez with the charges he faces at the FA. First, the racism accusation by serial-accuser, Patrice Evra and the other, a hand gesture aimed towards Fulham fans after the defeat at Craven Cottage.

Not just that, but Jay Spearing's contentious red card in the same game has come under scrutiny.

Liverpool players, staff and fans alike feel that Suarez is being persecuted by the FA. Similar incidents have occurred in recent years including Wayne Rooney and Ashley Cole - both escaped charge for waving fingers at away fans.

It's this 'siege mentality' that Liverpool could use to their advantage. Although, it can be tough to win games when referees aren't on your side - or, at the very least, neutral.

A Liverpool win, and a typical, battling, Suarez performance on Sunday may silence a few.

This will be a tough game for Liverpool, even with their impressive away form. Aston Villa pose a difficult test but they will, no doubt, miss the absent Shay Given. Brad Guzan is a steady replacement, though.

Dalglish doesn't have the best of records at Villa Park, either. In 6 games, he has failed to win any, losing 5 and drawing the other.

Both sides won their last league games after Villa beat Bolton 2-1 at the Reebok Arena.

Liverpool finally won at home and El Pistolero scored for the first time since October in a 1-0 win at home to QPR. Another glut of chances were spurned by the Reds. Hopefully Maxi starts again as his link-up with Suarez is lethal. Craig Bellamy adds a lot to the side when he plays, especially away from home, but does Kenny start Stewart Downing against his former side?

It's certainly an interesting match and a win for either side would be massive.


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