We currently have a good, yet fragile, grip on 4th place…which would give us a chance to land CL footie after so many years and would also make our club more attractive to top players and financially stronger as well…We have quite a few games left to play and anything can happen like Spurs or Utd going on a superb run or us faltering or the opposite as well. Strange season it is, full of inconsistencies – look at Man City being caught up by Liverpool at the top, which seemed unthinkable in Mid-January…
We just got some bad news regarding Ramsdale (hip issue) and Martinelli (illness) so they are out of the squad 😦 This leads to a start for Leno (why oh why!) and a start as left attacking midfielder for ESR so here is our line-up:
Leno – Cedric, White, Gabs, Tierney – Partey, Xhaka – Saka, Ode, ESR – Laca
Our bench is looking thinner now with Pepe, Nketiah as attacking options and Holding, Sambi on the more defensive side…
Our opponents, Aston Villa, are doing OK under Gerrard since he took over. There is one player that has been on great form for them in Coutinho who always caused us trouble. Their line-up is the usual 4321 except for Ings starting on the bench:
Martinez – Cash, Konsa, Mings, Young – Ramsey, Luiz, McGinn- Buendia, Coutinho – Watkins.
They have Chambers, Sanson, Bailey, Chukwu and Ings on the bench to add defensive steel or attacking threats.
Martinez is doing well there and few players at A.V are having good season in Mings, Young, Ramsey and Luiz. Ramsey is particularly dangerous with his runs while McGinn is also feeling confident…
It is not going to be easy to manage this game but we have to do it if we want to keep our hopes of Top 4 finish alive. Win this game and you send a strong signal to the rivals, do not lose this game and you are still looking quite good but if you lose this game, you will give hope to our rivals that they can reach Top 4. In that sense, this may be our most important game of the season in the sense that it comes after a loss at home to LFC and that the outcome of this game can have a huge impact on positioning our team as a reliable contender not only because of points taken but also because of the signal it sends to the rest of the EPL!
COYG! Do us proud and grab at least a point and ideally 3 points BUT do not lose please…This is going to be a tough game for Cedric, Partey, Xhaka and Ode…If they do well, we should be ok. COYG!