Aston Villa vs Liverpool, Premier League Gameweek 31: Open Thread

After yesterday’s shock sacking of Martin O’Neill, Aston Villa footballers, manager and supporters may perceive Sunderland as a wounded animal and an opportunity to leapfrog over them to safety. After all, if Paul Lambert’s side can get a vital home victory against Liverpool today at Villa Park, the Midlands side will jump from 18th to 16th spot, pushing Wigan into the relegation zone and pulling Sunderland closer into danger.

At the same time, Liverpool are eyeing an opportunity to close the gap between them and sixth place Everton. It could be argued that a victory for Villa has greater importance, but Liverpool will want to enact revenge after their embarrassing defeat at home against Villa earlier in the season.

Before, during or after today’s match, post your rants, raves, questions and observations in the comments section below.

Have a wonderful Sunday.

12 thoughts on “Aston Villa vs Liverpool, Premier League Gameweek 31: Open Thread”

  1. Nervy win by Liverpool. Villa don’t look like a relegation-bound team. Benteke is absolutely terrific and he might just keep them up. Villa’s defense is worrisome but they do have a fantastic keeper who will keep them in games.

    The race for 3rd and 4th and the relegation battle could go all the way till the end. Makes up for the fact that the title race is over.

    1. Varra actually held Suarez in check for much of the match. This should have been a draw at worst. Villa’s midfield needs an upgrade, not so much the defense, I think.

  2. Look at this – 6 points between Fulham at 18 and Wigan/Villa at 18. (In fairness, Fulham has 2 in hand over a lot of the rest.)

    Great stuff. It is why no other sport comes close. Always something interesting going on somewhere on the table.

    I agree with Terry about Villa. They actually look a bit better a side than 18th place. But what kills them is that horrific GD (half of which being amassed in two floggings by City and Chelsea.)

    I don’t wish relegation on anyone, but if anyone had to go I kind of want Sunderland for that 18th slot. Just truly insipid play from them this year. For a while they were averaging 1 shot on target per half. (And by a “while” I mean “first half of the League season.”)

    1. With Paulo Di Canio as Sunderland’s new manager lots of fans will be hoping they get relegated. He is a very controversial character and his fascist leanings won’t help. This appointment is not going to end well for Sunderland. Also, Di Canio has no EPL managing experience. Swindon to Sunderland is a huge jump.

  3. I think a Sunderland/Villa comparison is interesting. Both teams came in to the season feeling secure in the premiership status, both brought in significant buys, both teams have stumbled.

    But they couldn’t be more different (to me at least). I saw Sunderland as a dull, boring squad filled with veteran players and lacking in ideas. They rarely got blown out but never really made you excited. Aston Villa on the other hand are a young team managed by a man who is trying to build something. The exile of Darren Bent I thought was a mistake, but regardless, having seen Villa about 10-12 times this year I think Paul Lambert is on the right track. At times you can see his ideas beginning to come together and about 6-7 of the players in that squad show real promise. Sure they occassionally run into a severe beating but there is a huge difference from watching table-neighbors Sunderland tread water week after week.

  4. Sunderland have a tough few games coming up, away to Chelsea and Newcastle followed by a home tie against Everton. They might get nothing from all 3 of these games regardless of whom they bring in as new manager. Only Wigan has a more difficult list of games left and an FA Cup semifinal and maybe even final. But Wigan always seem to find a way to survive.

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