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“My son is all the time telling me that you just get ‘six objectives, six assists’ from Coutinho each season, ‘no extra, no much less’,” says Gary Naylor. “I haven’t checked his steadiness to pay for 2021-22, but when all of them come tonight, I fancy Villa 7-2. (Okay, 2-1).”

“Relating to your response to Peter Oh,” begins Harriet Osborn. “I’m undecided I just like the suggestion one in all The Bench is about to get a season-ender, or along with your casting of Sean Bean! Though Pegg as Kelleher and Statham as Milner may work.”

Oh I wasn’t speaking particularly concerning the Liverpool subs. I used to be simply fantasising a couple of movie referred to as The Bench, ideally with an enigmatic voiceover from Alan Ford. (NB: clip incorporates language)

“Can I simply say that I object to my potential month-to-month Guardian monetary contribution being doubtlessly used to doubtlessly fund false feuds between prime managers who clearly respect one another and don’t in any method ‘accuse’ the opposite of on the lookout for excuses,” says Ian Copestake. “Why does the rhetoric for these tales should be ramped as much as ranges of non-existent battle? Not accusing you although, Bobby Robster. I’m, within the parlance of our instances, simply saying.”

What do you make of this new age of passive-aggressive feuds between managers? Do you want them, Ian? Do you? Do you? I believe I most well-liked the times when Wenger and Ferguson brazenly referred to as one another effers.

Anyway, sufficient of Erling Haaland. We’re half an hour away from Aston Villa v Liverpool, the newest in a unending collection of giant video games for Liverpool.

“As a ‘not’ Metropolis supporter, my solely factor to cling to is the damage report of Haaland this season,” says Brendan Giant. “He has missed a couple of video games and that may restrict him to solely the 40 objectives within the PL *crosses fingers*. However as a soccer fan I’m very curious to see if he can flip them into much more of profitable machine. It’s a scary prospect but in addition makes me look ahead to subsequent season already.”

Identical right here, it’ll be a captivating story no matter occurs. He’ll rating hundreds of thousands, certainly, however I believe he’ll finally be judged on the standard of his objectives (on this case the timing and significance) fairly than the amount. Lets simply name him a flat-track bully now and get it over with?

‘Good luck with that’ division

1978-79 v 1987-88 v 2021-22

“Will Haaland break the mould for BVB gamers going overseas with massive reputations?” says Mel Lynam. “The one actual successes of their gamers transferring on is after they head to Bayern.”

That’s barely harsh on individuals like Aubameyang and Gundogan, however it’s an excellent level nonetheless. Haaland looks like a distinct beast, although.

“That Liverpool bench may be very imposing,” says Peter Oh. “These guys may as properly placed on brass knuckles and faucet baseball bats into their palms as they wait for his or her flip. I reckon you’ll should spell it with a capital B. Not only a bench. The Bench.”

The Bench: starring Jason Statham and Sean Bean, with a surprisingly menacing flip from Simon Pegg.

Who’s received an alibi for Saturday night time?

“I hope that Haaland can be extra of a Benteke/Lukaku/Carroll signing than a Toshack to all of Pep’s little Keegans!” weeps Ian Copestake. “However I reside in hope and expectation fairly than as at present in Koreatown, LA.”

I do assume there’s a component of threat, as there may be with all signings I suppose. We all know Haaland will flip 3-0s into 12-0s within the Premier League, however all that basically issues is whether or not he turns 5-6s into 7-6s in Europe. I believe he’ll however it’s not a positive factor.

“So will this be the Premier League’s final title race for the following 5 years?” writes Rob Hisnay. “I say that as, with Manchester Metropolis signing Erling Haaland, it doesn’t look good for the competitiveness of the Premier League.”

People stated the identical when Manchester United signed Juan Sebastian Veron and Ruud Van Nistelrooy in 2001, and when Chelsea purchased Ballack and Andriy Shevchenko in 2006. Each groups received the title solely as soon as within the subsequent 5 years. I imply, Haaland could properly rating 50 objectives by November, however I’m preserving an open thoughts for now, particularly with Jurgen Klopp round.

Staff information

Steven Gerrard makes two modifications from Aston Villa’s win at Burnley on Saturday. Marvelous Nakamba and Philippe Coutinho change Calum Chambers and Emi Buendia.

Jurgen Klopp rests quite a lot of gamers forward of the FA Cup closing towards Chelsea on Saturday. Total there are 5 modifications from the 1-1 draw with Spurs on the weekend. Joel Matip, Kostas Tsimikas, Naby Keita, Curtis Jones and Diogo Jota are available in for the heavyweight quintet of Ibrahima Konate, Andy Robertson (who isn’t among the many subs), Thiago Alcantara, Jordan Henderson and Mo Salah.

Aston Villa (4-D-2) Martinez; Money, Konsa, Mings, Digne; Nakamba; McGinn, Douglas Luiz; Coutinho; Watkins, Ings.
Substitutes: Olsen, Chambers, Chrisene, A Younger, Iroegbunam, Sanson, Carney Chukwuemeka, Buendia, Traore.

Liverpool (4-3-3) Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, van Dijk, Tsimikas; Keita, Fabinho, Jones; Jota, Mane, Diaz.
Substitutes: Kelleher, Konate, Thiago, Milner, Firmino, Salah, Henderson, Gomez, Origi.

Referee Jon Moss.


Of all of the gin joints. It’s the 12 months 2022, Liverpool are concerned in a title race – and Steven Gerrard is a central determine. By a quirk of the fixture pc and the managerial merry-go-round, Gerrard’s Aston Villa aspect play Liverpool tonight and Manchester Metropolis on the Etihad on the ultimate day of the season. He may assist Liverpool win the title, or he may end them off within the subsequent few hours.

If Liverpool drop factors tonight, it’ll be throughout bar the tweeting. As they’ve taken 41 factors from their final 15 league video games, even the dumb cash is on them profitable at Villa Park. However there’s no relaxation for the properly depraved: the extra profitable you’re, the higher the fixture pile-up, and that is Liverpool’s twelfth sport in 39 days for the reason that final worldwide break.

One interpretation of their draw with Spurs on Saturday is that they confirmed indicators of fatigue, mentally fairly than bodily, although in fact it’s far too early to leap to that conclusion. It ought to shock no one in the event that they chase Villa off the park tonight.

Villa have received their final two video games although, ending a poor run of type, and have gamers who can harm Liverpool: Ollie Watkins, Danny Ings and the artist previously often known as the Little Magician.

Like Gerrard, Philippe Coutinho will expertise some combined feelings tonight.

Kick off 8pm.

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