Villa-Liverpool; At long last!

It’s been that long since I wrote anything that I actually had to think about how to do it.

Looking at the World cup purely from a footballing point of view, I thought it was an outstanding event. Yes, the politics thing was a shame, but I just did as per usual and tried my best to keep them apart.
I even managed to call the winners.

Anyway, so while it was excellent, I’m glad it’s all over and we’re now back to the real thing. There’s just nothing that compares with the domestic game, for me.

And it doesn’t get much better than Liverpool at home on a boxing day.
I’ve seen quite a few Villa fans saying that they think we’re going to get tonked for some reason but I actually think today will be much more like a first game of the season, almost friendly-like and I fully expect to see some odd scores today.
Which means I reckon we can actually beat Liverpool.

Squad news first and as we already know Emi Martinez won’t play because he’s still in Argentina, lapping up the glory of winning the World cup. I don’t begrudge him, especially as he’s the first Villa player to win it.
The bad news is that while Jed Steer is still out, Robin Olsen will cover.
That’s quite worrying, as he was horrendous last time out, but I’m going to look on the positive side and think that he can’t possibly be as bad today. Can he?
Let’s not forget that he is Sweden’s goalkeeper, so he must have something about him.
Jacob Ramsey is out with a hamstring problem, but otherwise, I think we’re ok.
It’s just a bit disappointing to me that after such a long break, we haven’t got a clean bill of health, but our training has often been discussed and we’re no closer to finding out why we seem to get so many injuries, so I’m not going to dwell on it.

As for Pool, all of their WC players apart from Ibrahima Konate will be available.
Trent Alexander-Arnold and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain have both been ill, but should also be available while James Milner (hamstring) and Roberto Firmino (calf) will both be out.
So maybe it’s not just us, after all.

It’s going to be interesting to see how Unai Emery sets us up today, as it’s the usual pros and cons with us, isn’t it? Our attack is quite strong, but our defence is not the best, to say the least.
Liverpool attack well when they’re on song, so we’ll have to be careful.
I suspect Emery tends to playing safe though, so I’m sure with his emphasis on detail, he should have us well briefed, with the players knowing exactly what they have to do.

As I’ve said, I think it’ll be like a first day game, so anything could happen, which makes predictions really difficult, but I suspect we might see a draw.
Given that Pool have a propensity to score quite a lot more than us, I’d actually take a point.
And that’s what I’m predicting.

A safe 1-1 draw.


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  1. Bum Bum
    Bum Bum December 26, 2022 at 6:26 pm . Reply

    We miss Emi’s presence badly. Defence is a mess. Balance is wrong. Watkins us a good guy but we need something different.
    Game ain’t over yet!, but Emery will need a few more games to mould us properly.
    Current status: Mouldy.

  2. little8
    little8 December 26, 2022 at 6:30 pm . Reply

    And gabby defending Watkins how did he ever get a job after football say no more

  3. Holte
    Holte December 26, 2022 at 6:30 pm . Reply

    We might as well have a full size subbuteo goalkeeper than Olsen. Watkins I’m afraid looks like he won’t score if he plays during the half time break. Liverpool constantly getting in behind our defence and only poor finishing and straying offside has kept score down. I find it annoying that their corner that led to the second goal came from an offside run. If they score before it’s put out for a corner then VAR will rule it out. This is something I find stupid about new rules.
    Lots for Emery to do to turn us round.

  4. Holte
    Holte December 26, 2022 at 6:56 pm . Reply

    Famous last words about Watkins 😏

    1. Bum Bum
      Bum Bum December 26, 2022 at 6:58 pm . Reply

      Keep on slating him!!!!!!

  5. Bum Bum
    Bum Bum December 26, 2022 at 7:11 pm . Reply

    A good 15 minutes left at least…

  6. badger123
    badger123 December 26, 2022 at 7:14 pm . Reply

    1-3 and that must be it now.

  7. Holte
    Holte December 26, 2022 at 7:17 pm . Reply

    Unfortunately the entire back four that started today aren’t good enough. At least Martinez will be back to replace Olsen.

  8. Hitchens60
    Hitchens60 December 26, 2022 at 7:18 pm . Reply

    Olsen – a complete and utter liability. I’ll pay for his taxi back to Sweden.

    We need to get a decent number 2 in January as a priority.

  9. Holte
    Holte December 26, 2022 at 7:23 pm . Reply

    I think Young has done well up till today but Nunez has had him and Konsa on toast today. Mings is a liability too and Digne is a shite defender.

    1. badger123
      badger123 December 26, 2022 at 7:30 pm . Reply

      Another Gerrard mistake in selling Targett, imo.

      1. RSS
        RSS December 26, 2022 at 7:41 pm . Reply

        Oh well back to the drawing board.
        Didn’t think we were particularly bad or Liverpool particularly good just they simply on the day got the rub of the green.
        On another day two of their goals (Van Dijk & Bajcetic) get blocked or deflected wide but the commentary, Jesus man, Van Dijk’s wonder volley like a seasoned forward?
        Ok, whatever.
        Hit it towards goal, got deflected, got lucky.
        So biased.

  10. Sidforever
    Sidforever December 26, 2022 at 7:56 pm . Reply


    New time new vision. In 1 years time I anticipate the following:
    25Olsen: Gone
    18Young: Gone
    4Konsa: Back up / gone
    5Mings: Gone
    27Digne: Gone
    7McGinn: Gone
    44Kamara: Stay
    6Douglas Luiz: Back Up
    10Buendía: Stay
    31Bailey: Stay
    11Watkins: Back up
    Coutinho: Gone
    Ing: Gone
    Dendoncker Stay

    A revolving door I think!

  11. Holte
    Holte December 26, 2022 at 8:30 pm . Reply

    That’s a lot of players gone! I think McGinn will get back to his best under Emery so I would keep him. As for Bailey, we see again his inconsistency with the two very good chances he fluffed, so I’m still not convinced about him.
    It’s going to take a few transfer windows to forge a team to challenge for Europe. We will have to accept there will be many losses and Spurs away on Sunday could well be another. Emery has inherited a mid table (at best) bunch of players so he needs to be backed by us and the owners with a big transfer kitty.

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