Preview: Aston Villa v Liverpool #avfc #lfc

If there is a God, Blues will be relegated.  And I’m holding out for this one because it will be a Sunday afterall…

And yet how different it could have been as it was only last week that Villa hauled themselves out of an unimaginable mess by beating Arsenal.  Yes, the team that has lost of Wolves, the Albion and Stoke turned up and bossed The Emirates courtesy of two stunning strikes from transfer bargain Bent.

Liverpool come to Villa Park with a sense of optimism about them.  The return of Kenny Dalglish and his recent signing of a contract has seen a resurgence of sorts.  However, there can be no overlooking that this Liverpool side is distinctly average and their being in 6th must be kept in perspective.  One should not forget who has finished there for the last 3 seasons…in short…you might as well be 16th as 6th in the modern English top flight.

Villa will hopefully play with some exuberance and freedom having been burdened by erratic form all season.  Indeed this could be the opportunity for some of the promising youth to shine, and a number of senior players to perhaps sign off their Villa careers.  It will be interesting to see what our approach might be.  Although one could be forgiven at times this season for wondering whether there was an approach.  

Fabian Delph impressed against Arsenal, quietly going about his work with a positive attitude, pace and an eye for a pass.  Ciaran Clark, whose composure and approach to the game defy his years is also now match fit.  Clark would be a much welcome addition at centre half, a position that has haemorrhaged goals all season.  With Dunne and Collins in no way the future; Clark and Cueller anyone?  But then Cueller would be so lucky, so overlooked is the Spaniard.  One wonders if he might make the decision to move on this summer, a decision which would be more than justified given the way he has been ignored in spite of our woeful defending.

Liverpool will no doubt also want to finish on a high, but it might well be hard to motivate themselves massively for this.  It wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see Dalglish field some kids of his own, some of whom have appeared already in his short tenure.  Of the rest Suarez is a talent, tricky, determined and devastating when allowed time in front of goal.  Meireles is perhaps a growing force amongst an unbalanced squad.  He offers something different for Liverpool, poor early season form aside, has settled into a desirable player.

Sunday is more than a little unpredictable.  And unfortunately for Liverpool the whole of Villa Park will be keeping an eye firmly fixed upon the imminent demise of city rivals Birmingham City.  Tottenham really need to put them to the sword, so that either Wigan or Blackpool can leapfrog and that the circus can once more leave town.

Here’s to a home win, the relegation of the Bluenoses and the prospect of another season when maybe, just maybe, Aston Villa will rise from the ashes.

Prediction Corner: 2-0 to Villa – Ashley Young first scorer.