21 January 2008

Liverpool v Aston Villa 22 Jan 08 : 4am

Defender Daniel Agger (metatarsal) is Liverpool's only certain absentee for Monday's home game with Aston Villa.
Steve Finnan and Javier Mascherano might return after missing out on the midweek FA Cup game and Martin Skrtel could get his first squad call-up.
Aston Villa goalkeeper Stuart Taylor is poised to make only his third league start of the campaign, replacing on-loan Liverpool keeper Scott Carson.
Gareth Barry is an injury doubt after suffering a bruised pelvis in training.
Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez on catching the Premier League leaders:"The key is to think only about the next two, three games in the league and not look at the top teams.
"We still have to play against Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal away, so we have a chance to reduce the gap.
"Our performances at those grounds have not been great so we must change that. Aston Villa is the next game, we need to win and then we will look forward."
Aston Villa captain Gareth Barry:"We went from 16th place to finishing 11th in the Premier League last season and this time around we are now being talked about for Europe.
"Certainly we are making the strides forward the manager told me he was confident we could achieve and it's a case of so far, so good.
"It is obviously important we try to keep it going now during the second part of the season and the team has been playing with a lot of confidence and belief."
Liverpool (from): Reina, Finnan, Arbeloa, Carragher, Skrtel, Hyypia, Riise, Aurelio, Pennant, Kewell, Gerrard, Alonso, Mascherano, Babel, Benayoun, Kuyt, Torres, Voronin, Crouch, Itandje, Lucas.
Aston Villa (from): Taylor, Sorensen, Mellberg, Laursen, Davies, Knight, Bouma, Petrov, Gardner, Barry, Reo-Coker, Berger, Young, Carew, Agbonlahor, Moore, Harewood, Maloney, Salifou.
Two sides locked together on 39 points vying for a top four Champions League spot meet at Anfield.
Liverpool are unbeaten in five Premier League matches and have drawn their last three; Aston Villa are undefeated in six league games, and have won the last three.
Villa have won one more league match than Liverpool, but still trail them on goal difference. The Midlanders' away record is identical to Liverpool's at home; won four, drawn five, lost one and scored 21 goals.
Liverpool are unbeaten in 13 league and cup matches against Aston Villa. The Reds have won more matches (17) and claimed more points (57) against Aston Villa than any other club in the Premier League.
(all statistics are ahead of this weekend's round of Premier League fixtures)
1. Undefeated in seven in all competitions; three wins, four draws.
2. Picked up nine points out of 15, since Manchester United beat them 0-1 at Anfield on 16 December.
3. Lost just two Premier League games; only Arsenal have been beaten less often (once). Also, conceded 14 Premier League goals at one every 135 minutes (two hours 15 minutes); only Manchester United have a tighter defence (11 goals conceded).
4. The Premier League's joint draw specialists. Nine of their 21 matches have finished level; Fulham also have nine stalemates.
5. Only conceded more than a single goal in one of 13 Premier League matches; the 3-1 defeat by Reading at the Madejski Stadium on 8 December.
6. Need a victory to register 250 Premier League points under Rafael Benitez.
7. Not lost in 13 Premier League matches against Midlands clubs, since Birmingham beat them 2-0 at St Andrews on 12 February 2005.
8 Picked up 25 cards in Premier League competition (all yellow); only Everton have a similar low total, but theirs is comprised of three red and 22 yellow.
9. Their 22 matches have yielded 49 goals (35 for, 14 against); only West Ham's matches have produced fewer goals (47).
10. A fourth round FA Cup tie, home to non league Havant and Waterlooville follows this match, before a league visit to West Ham, a home game against Sunderland and a big match-up, away to Chelsea.
(all statistics are ahead of this weekend's round of Premier League fixtures)
1. Hoping to add the scalp of Liverpool to those of Wigan (a), Tottenham (h) and Reading (h) gained in their last three league outings.
2. Aiming to complete four league victories on the bounce for the second time this season, replicating what was achieved between 3 and 28 November 2007.
3. Not lost in the Premier League since a 1-3 home defeat by Portsmouth on 8 December.
4. Completed 17 league matches since failing to score; the 1-0 away defeat to Manchester City on 16 September being the most recent occasion.
5. Already recorded as many league victories as managed in the whole of last season (11).
6. Need to score two more goals to total 7,000 in league football.
7. One of three clubs beaten only once on their Premier League travels. The others are Arsenal and Liverpool.
8. Not beaten in eight away league games; won four and drawn four since a 1-0 loss against Manchester City at Eastlands on 16 September. Also, scored more goals on the road in the Premier League than any other club (21).
9. Used 21 players in this Premier League campaign. Only Everton and Blackburn have also fielded as few.
10. A home match against Blackburn follows this, before a trip to Fulham, a clash with Newcastle at Villa Park and a visit to Reading.
Fernando TORRES is Liverpool's top scorer with 17 goals, and their leading marksman in the Premier League with 11.
Goalkeeper Jose REINA is the only remaining player to have been on the field for every minute of every one of Liverpool's Premier League matches this season.
REINA goes into the weekend jointly leading the race for the Barclays Golden Glove with David JAMES of Portsmouth. They have both kept 10 clean sheets.
If selected:-
Peter CROUCH will be playing against a former club. The 26 year old England international spent 18 months with Villa from March 2002, recording 43 appearances (37 in the Premier League) and scoring six League goals.
Mohamed SISSOKO will be playing on the eve of his 23rd birthday, and David MARTIN on the eve of his 22nd.
Gabriel AGBONLAHOR is Aston Villa's leading scorer, with seven Premier League goals.
Gareth BARRY has been on the field for every minute of every one of Villa's league and cup games this season.
Villa are the only club with as many as five players to have figured in at least a part of every one of their Premier League games this season; AGBONLAHOR, BARRY, Wilfred BOUMA, Martin LAURSEN and Ashley YOUNG.
Goalkeeper Scott CARSON is on loan to Villa from Liverpool, and therefore ineligible to play.
If selected:-
Patrik BERGER will be facing a former club. The Czech Republic international made 196 appearances for Liverpool (148 in the Premier League) between August 1996 and June 2003 and scored 35 goals for them, 28 of which were league goals.
Martin LAURSEN will be making his 50th Premier League appearance in an Aston Villa shirt.
Marlon HAREWOOD will be making his 100th career Premier League appearance (Nottingham Forest, West Ham and Aston Villa).
Liverpool have won eight and drawn four of the last 12 Premier League matches against Aston Villa; and also knocked the Villans out of the League Cup in 2002 during that sequence.
Villa head for Anfield in search of a first point in five visits, and a first victory there since the 1-3 triumph on 8 September 2001 when Dion Dublin, Lee Hendrie and Darius Vassell were all on the scoresheet.
The Reds are on course to complete their fourth Premier League double over Villa, and first since 2005-06.
Home and awayLeague (inc PL): Liverpool 78 wins, Villa 51, Draws 36Prem: Liverpool 17 wins, Villa 8, Draws 6
at Liverpool onlyLeague (inc PL): Liverpool 52 wins, Villa 14, Draws 16Prem: Liverpool 10 wins, Villa 3, Draws 2
Liverpool 3-1 Aston Villa28 October 2006 - Ref: Steve BennettLiverpool scorers: Kuyt 31, Crouch 38, Luis Garcia 44Villa scorers: Agbonlahor 56
Aston Villa 1-2 Liverpool11 August 2007 - Ref: Mike Riley Villa scorer: Barry 85 pen Liverpool scorers: Laursen 31 og, Gerrard 87

No comments:



The GOLDEN Team of Kenny Daglish

The GOLDEN Team of Kenny Daglish
If we have them now, say farewell to Arsenal, Man.U and Chelsea... if...