Predicting the lineup against Liverpool: How will AVFC deal with Suarez?

Matthew Lewis

Trying to guess how Paul Lambert will handle his squad for tomorrow's trip to Anfield.

Aston Villa will come into tomorrow's match at Anfield relatively healthy and with plenty of options for Paul Lambert. Liverpool's biggest threat - and possibly the biggest in the entire Premier League - is of course Luis Suárez, who has 22 goals in just 16 appearances this season. Normally, with a player of his caliber, and against a good team such as Liverpool, we might expect Lambert to play the 5-3-2 that he's gone to a few times this season (though you may call it, as WhoScored did after last match a 3-5-2, it's being pretty nitpicky to quibble over it).

Unfortunately, Lambert's injury issues, while not severe, will likely prevent him from doing this. The 5-3-2 works best when you've got three central defenders, and with Nathan Baker out thanks to a concussion, there isn't a really good option beyond Ron Vlaar and Ciaran Clark. Instead, I think he goes with a 4-4-2 with a look to counterattack, maybe something like this:

football formations

While Villa now have Ryan Bertrand, I think one day is probably too short of notice for the new signing to joing the starting XI. Should there be any problems with Antonio Luna, though, I wouldn't be surprised to see Bertrand make his Villa debut. The center of the pitch will likely feature Fabian Delph, and Karim El Ahmadi makes sense in a match where you probably should have an extra midfielder keeping an eye on Suárez.

On the wings, Gabby Agbonlahor could work his way up the left, or slot in front of the midfield, playing more of a free role. Marc Albrighton was Villa's player of the month in December, and somehow didn't see the pitch against Arsenal on Monday. He's got the pace to get back if need be, though he doesn't really have the defensive ability to be very useful once he does.

Up front, after scoring for the first time in months, I think Christian Benteke is a given. From there, I think we'll see Lambert introduce Grant Holt to the lineup, though he may be held out as a substitute like Bertrand. Andi Weimann could certainly take the place of any of Holt, Agbonlahor, or Albrighton.

So what do you think? How does Paul Lambert line up Villa to face one of the most potent attacking teams this club has seen in a while? Let us know in the comments!

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join 7500 To Holte

You must be a member of 7500 To Holte to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at 7500 To Holte. You should read them.

Join 7500 To Holte

You must be a member of 7500 To Holte to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at 7500 To Holte. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9353_tracker