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Discussion Starter #1
Big away game coming up tomorrow. This is our third match in the space of 6 days which does ask a lot from our players- but let's hope we come through the ordeal with some sort of success.

We sit in 9th position in the table and would move back above Liverpool with a victory. Anfield has always proved to be a tough venue for us to go and get points- and I think there will be no exception this year. We did manage to pick up a point at Anfield last season in that 1-1 draw with Dublin scoring from the penalty spot for us.

3 points would be huge for us- another win in the premiership and away from home at Liverpool would surprise many. But that's what we will be going there to do..

Liverpool 2
Murphy
Pongolle


Aston Villa 1
Vassell

Anyway, all news, views and previews to be posted here.....
 

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Discussion Starter #2
O'LEARY MAY MAKE CHANGES

Aston Villa manager David O'Leary has no major injury problems as his side look to extend their unbeaten Barclaycard Premiership run to six games at Liverpool - but he may decide to freshen up the side with his small squad facing a third game in six days.

Midfielder Peter Whittingham looked tired during the second half against Portsmouth in midweek and may make way for Thomas Hitzlsperger while Ronny Johnsen could replace fellow veteran Dion Dublin in defence.

Leading scorer Juan Pablo Angel and full-back Mark Delaney are expected to again defy ankle and knee problems to play.
 

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Yeah I went to the pub with my Villa shirt over the top of me jumper the other day.. surrounded by Leeds fans didn't go down too well.. but all they did was complain about how poor Dion was.. I think he is due a rest after so many good peformances previously.

Liverpool 3

Aston Villa 0

Think we shall have a small collapse during the Liverpool and Arsenal games.

My predicted starting line up..

Sorensen,

Samuel (bloody amazing player coming out of this guy, think i'll have to call him Roberto Samuel soon!),
Delaney,
Johnsen
Mellberg

Barry
Hitzlsperger
McCann
Moore (not impressed with him any more.. but at least he isn't Lee Hendrie).

Vassell
Angel/Crouch (dunno how Juan's ankle is..)
 

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I don't expect us to pull this one off. I'm just glad that we were able to take advantage of the run of games we had against easier opposition, and as we never perform well against L'pool of Arsenal expect us to lose the next two games! But hopefully we can then pick ourselves up again!
 

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Being so humble, i can see you guys sneaking it.As i said to my mate after the Chelski game.What's the bets we play even shitter against Villa.I wouldnt be so negative as it is no way a foregone conclusion.We will have either Luzi making his full debut in goal or Paul Jones who we just got on loan :strong: Gerrard and Owen are back though.
 

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Well you guys have just gone ahead! So I see the same old story of Villa are Anfield! :(
 

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Ah well, lost 1-0 in the end. Pulled our socks up for the last 10-15 but that was bout it.

still in the top half! was out first loss at anfield for 3 years :S
 

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Not too bad, and at least we gave them a run for the money - would have liked to remain above Bluenose Scum though! Oh well, we'll wait to get Arsenal out the way and then we'll kick in and overtake them for good inshallah!
 

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DELANEY HANDS REDS WIN
Saturday 10th January 2004
Mark Delaney's own goal was enough to give Liverpool a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Aston Villa at Anfield on Saturday.

Gerard Houllier's side deservedly, although fortunately, took the lead nine minutes before half time and always threatened to add a second as they controlled most of the match.

Villa finished the game strongly though, especially after David O'Leary threw Dion Dublin up front and the hosts were made to sweat it out to record their third win in a week.

Michael Owen was making his return to action after injury and he looked a little bit rusty in front of goal as he squandered a glorious chance to open the scoring early on when he hit the bar from all of three yards out after Harry Kewell's cutback.

Liverpool nearly paid for the miss as Darius Vassell was presented a great chance by Igor Biscan but the England striker's firm strike was well saved by on-loan Southampton goalkeeper Paul Jones in the home net.

Dietmar Hamann forced a good save from Thomas Sorensen with a low shot as the home side began to take control of the match - and they duly took the lead on 36 minutes.

Kewell's cross was flicked on by Emile Heskey and Delaney could only bundle the ball into his own net under pressure from Danny Murphy.

The hosts could have doubled their lead on the stroke of half time when Murphy's free kick found Owen in space inside the box but he could only prod a tame effort harmlessly at Sorensen.

Liverpool started the second half as they ended the first with El-Hadji Diouf providing a constant threat down the right flank. The Senegal star crossed for Owen early in the second period and Sorensen had to stretch well to stop the cross before tipping the ball away from the feet of the Reds number ten.

Owen was then nearly put clean through but for the intervention of Olof Mellberg, while Heskey barged his way through the heart of the visiting defence before Dion Dublin forced him out of his stride.

Kewell then blazed over from a good position after a breakaway involving Florent Sinama-Pongolle, who came on in place of a tiring Owen.

Dublin was then thrown up front as Villa applied late pressure with a string of corners and free kicks as the home crowd's nerves were tested.

Kewell again missed a great chance to seal the points as he blasted into the side netting from another break - but the hosts held on for a third win in a welcome week for the recovering Reds.
 

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MCINALLY: NO DISGRACE IN VILLA DEFEAT
Sunday 11th January 2004
Alan McInally says that David O'Leary will not be overly disappointed, despite watching his Aston Villa side go down 1-0 at Anfield.

Villa had been unbeaten in five Premiership matches, but Mark Delaney's first-half own goal handed the three points to the Reds.

Although they threw everything at Liverpool in the second-half, the visitors could not find a way back into the match, but the former Villa favourite insists they are happy just to be in the top half of the table.

"They played really well today Jeff, to be honest with you," McInally said.

"But they just didn't have it when it mattered, in the final third, to break Liverpool down.

"Granted, Liverpool had a few chances to put the game beyond Aston Villa, but I honestly don't think David O'Leary will be too unhappy.

"They went to to Anfield, Liverpool are on a little bit of a run and they certainly threw everything at them. They just couldn't break them down. In the end, Liverpool were holding on a little bit.

"Whilst David won't be happy they've lost the game, I think he'll be relatively pleased."
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Disappointing manner to lose a game but it happens and we just have to deal with it. From what I saw from the highlights on the Premiership - we didn't play too bad. We were giving Liverpool a real game- and the atmosphere was great.

Arsenal at Villa Park next- I will be preparing for another defeat- which is unfortunate on our part as continuing a winning run would see us remain up there with the others whereas another defeat will see us drift further away..
 

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Discussion Starter #12
VILLA DRAW BLANK

Liverpool beat Aston Villa 1-0 at Anfield to confirm they have found the steel to haul themselves back into the race for a Champions League spot.

The goal that clinched it, seemingly bouncing off Danny Murphy and Mark Delaney - both unsuspecting participants as an Emile Heskey effort soared into the box - summed up the day for Liverpool.

It was not pretty, but it counted. The plaudits go to on-loan keeper Paul Jones, and his battery of defiant red shirts who stopped Villa in their tracks when they got near the area.

Michael Owen was back in the starting line-up after three months of injury problems and, not surprisingly, did not have an effective match.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
O'LEARY ACCEPTS BAD LUCK

Aston Villa manager David O'Leary admitted his side's luck had evened out after they were beaten by an own goal at Liverpool.

Emile Heskey's header deflected off Mark Delaney and into the net to seal a 1-0 win for the Reds, but Villa had similar fortune in the recent 2-1 victory over Portsmouth.

O'Leary said: "We won with a fluky goal against Portsmouth and Liverpool have won this one with an equally fortunate goal. We were lucky then, but as you can see, these things even themselves out.

"We had Liverpool hanging on at the end. They looked nervous before the break, and afterwards.

"In fact, when they went in at the break with that lucky goal lead they would probably have been happy for the match to end there."
 

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Another loss to Arsenal won't be the end of the world - with it all so close between the top (minus top 3) and bottom halves of the table means that having again slipped down, it shouldn't be too hard to get back up! And if we have good game against Arsenal (maybe even a draw!), then the morale won't disappear and we can move back to winning ways.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Hopefully, it all depends if we can pick up results in the fixtures coming up after the Arsenal game. I think you're right- a draw is the most we can realisticly hope for but even if we do lose we do have a fairly decent chance of coming back up if we can maintain good results in the upcoming fixtures.
 
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