After last week's distasteful results, I'm sure we're all hoping for a win to cap off this encouraging back-end of the season tomorrow morning. And with Spurs playing a relegation-threatened Birmingham, and a habit of being wonky at home, all is not lost. But it won't matter if Liverpool don't do their bit.
Raul Meireles has been back in training, so the main question is does he slot back in if fit. In most minds of course he does, because his passing and movement were sorely missed against Tottenham. Either Maxi or Carroll will have to make way, we know where my vote goes. Plus it can't hurt for Carroll and Suarez to get another chance to find some understanding with each other. However, it might be Carroll if Dalglish opts to mirror Villa's usual 4-2-3-1, with Kuyt-Meireles-Maxi behind Suarez. Or Kuyt could take the lead role. The guess here is that Maxi sits and they go back to the 4-2-2-2 that we became accustomed to in March or so.
Villa have had a pretty wretched season, and beyond Ashley Young getting a look at his future employers there isn't much on the table for them. 13th for a side that's used to battling for Europe wouldn't be considered good enough by anyone. Villa have been hurt by Gabby Agbonlahor obviously going through the contents of his medicine cabinet before every game, as he's been awful. That's been sort of canceled out by the midseason arrival of Darren Bent, who obviously knew what he was doing when he got off the sinking ship that is Sunderland. And he always seems to score against us, which is annoying. But then again, he always seems to score, even though no one thinks he's any good.
But outside of him, Young, and Stewart Downing (another player most are convinced can't really play, and I tend to agree), there's barely a goal threat here. They only have 47 goals in the league, barely over one a game. If you keep Young from dancing through you, and Downing from whipping in crosses, this team really struggles to hurt you.
Villa come in after beating the sitcom that is Arsenal these days at the Emirates. They've been extremely so-so at home, winning 7 and drawing 7 with four losses in their 18 games. That's 28 of a possible 54 points, and that's not all the inspiring. Suarez should be giving the monolith that is Richard Dunne a torrid time if he can get him isolated. Reo-Coker and Petrov will not be the challenge for Spearing and Lucas that Sandro and Modric were. Villa last out put Young, Downing, and Fabian Delph (who was awesome in Championship Manager) behind Bent, and that's probably what we'll see tomorrow.
Let's finish strong, lads.