Liverpool played their first game against Stoke last weekend and registered a hard fought victory. Although the margin was a mere 1-0, it looked a lot better than the 3-0 loss that the Merseyside club suffered to West Brom in their opening match last season. Now their next game is scheduled against Aston Villa and Rodgers must hope to get a favourable result to add fuel to his dream of a top four finish.
Villa, on their part, have been very impressive till now. After defeating Arsenal 3-1 in their debut game, they almost made Chelsea settle for a draw yesterday. Now this game would certainly be an important match and would hold its appeal due to these following factors.
Test for Liverpool
Liverpool had a brilliant pre season, losing only once to Celtic and a promising performance against Stoke City, without star striker Luis Suarez, will have given the Anfield crowd a reason to be hopeful. But it must not be overlooked that they have not faced any decent side apart from Celtic till now. Aston Villa, who are in fine form now, would be a real test to them and this game would certainly prove the depth of the team and the cohesiveness of the squad. This game could definitely set the tempo for next week’s clash against fierce rivals Manchester United and even for the rest of the season.
Benteke’s fine form
Benteke has made a lot of headlines in the transfer window with the media linking him to a move to Spurs and Arsenal. But finally the Belgian signed a new contract with Villa and committed his future to the club. And he has taken absolutely no time to justify the amount of print space that he has consumed by scoring thrice in his first two games for his team. Now this game against Liverpool would prove to the world whether his form is something that the club can count on or is just a flash in the pan. Villa’s chances of bettering their previous season’s finish lies solely on the forward.
Henderson or no Henderson
Henderson was awarded with a starting berth and the English International although din’t have a stellar of a performance, made his critics to rethink about his future. With Sterling, Ibe and even Borini down the pecking order viable options, it would be a test for Henderson to hold on to his position in the team. With the axe of Downing and Carroll, we have already seen how merciless can Rodgers be regarding his first team choices, this game would therefore help us understand whether Henderson still occupies a place in Rodgers’s plans or will he be rotated frequently.
Defender Sebastián Coates to miss ‘most of the season’ with knee injury. He tore his cruciate ligament while playing for Uruguay
“He picked up a similar injury to what Martin Skrtel had last year so it’s probably going to rule him out for most of the season, which is disappointing for me because he’s never given me a minute’s problem since he’s been here,” Rodgers said at a news conference.
“This was probably a year he needed to go out and play, so unfortunately this will put an end to that,”