After a fairly disappointing loss away to Newcastle on the weekend, Gerrard and Co will be looking to put things right against relegation-fighting Watford...
Villa are back at home on Saturday as they face Watford, who currently sit in 19th place in the table being 6 points off safety. New manager Roy Hodgson is yet to win his first game as the Watford gaffer, recording one draw and two losses so far into his reign. The last victory for Watford in all competitions, was actually back in November 2021 where the Hornets demolished a Manchester United side 4-1! Ever since that, it has been downhill for Watford with them only picking up two points out of their last NINE league games, Losing to relegation rivals Norwich amongst it.
Roy Hodgson will be looking to get his first three points at the weekend.
As for Aston Villa, it's been a very poor week as we have picked up only the one point out of the last two games against Leeds (3-3) and Newcastle (1-0). Two defensively poor performances from Gerrard's side, causing us to crumble and drop points in winnable games. Going into this game, we need to be able to be more compact at the back but also enabling ourselves to attack dangerously without leaking too many spaces for Watford to counter-attack us on.
Within the early stages of Gerrard's reign, we saw fast, dangerous passes in triangles between 3 players... As the games have been rolling by, this is something we have seen less of. This could be down to the fact that Buendia and Coutinho have started finding form and are individually creating chances.
After the disappointing defeat to Newcastle, Gerrard did mention that he will be making a "fair amount" of changes ahead of this game, with Mcginn, Watkins, Luiz and Matty Cash all at risk of being dropped. Players such as; Morgan Sanson, Ashley Young, Danny Ings, Leon Bailey, Kortney Hause and Carney Chukwuemeka could all come in to replace them.
Aston Villa have scored 2+ goals in our last FOUR Premier League home meeting with Watford. With the most recent one coming in THAT game in the 19/20 season, where Tyrone Mings (sorry Ezri) scored a last gasp winner, to snatch all three points... A vital win in a tough season.
Gerrard has confirmed that there are no new injury cases, apart from the ones we already know of being; Bertrand Traore and Marvelous Nakamba. With Ezri Konsa still out due to suspension.
“We’ll have to be good, we’ll have to perform well. We’ll have to have the creation and invention to find a lot of outcomes in the game.
“We want to try and entertain when we get into the final third. We know we’re going to have to beat Roy’s organisation while also focussing on the threat they carry on the counter-attack.
“We’ve worked on it all, we’ve covered all the bases. I’ve got belief and confidence that we’ve got enough players within our system that can find breakthroughs, create and score.
“We’ve just got to go out and execute.”
Steven Gerrard ahead of the Watford clash.
A tough game ahead of us, with Hodgson looking to improve Watford game by game defensively. This will make it tough for Villa to find spaces in between the midfield and defence, as Watford will be tighter and more compact at the back.
A vital game for this man Buendia, as he aims to prove why he is Villa's most expensive signing, with him starting to feel at home and it really is starting to show on the pitch aswell!
As a Villa fan, let's hope we can get back on track, starting with this Saturday! UTV!
Written by Kian Davies.