Aston Villa V Liverpool at Villa Park : Match Preview

14 February 2016 01:34
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Aston Villa boss Remi Garde: Jurgen Klopp needs time to get things right at Reds

Aston Villa boss Remi Garde has backed Jurgen Klopp to get it right at Liverpool.

Villa host Liverpool on Sunday with both managers having taken charge during the season.

Klopp has won 12 of his 29 games since replacing Brendan Rodgers in October with Liverpool ninth in the Barclays Premier League ahead of the weekend's games.

Garde took charge at Villa a month later and despite an inconsistent start he believes Klopp's philosophy will shine through at Anfield.

"There is no miracle. Working is the only way to change things. I remember when Jurgen Klopp arrived he said something I totally agree with," he said.

"In this country he had the feeling he was the only one who believed in working on the training pitch until things change, instead of speaking only about transfers.

"If you have this philosophy it is not one or two training sessions or one or two weeks that you can change the way your team is playing.

"For my point of view the way they play now is much different than before. Probably at the moment the results are not the ones they are expecting there but as I told you time is time and you cannot avoid that."

Villa are bottom after recording only their third league win of the season with last week's 2-0 victory over Norwich but Jack Grealish has been ruled out of the clash with the Reds with an ankle problem.

Rudy Gestede and Carlos Sanchez will be assessed after hamstring injuries and Alan Hutton is available but Libor Kozak (ankle), Adama Traore (foot) and Jordan Amavi (knee) are all sidelined.

Christian Benteke, meanwhile, makes his first return to Villa Park since a B#32.5million move to Liverpool in the summer but despite Villa scoring just 20 goals in 25 games in the league Garde insists his side must move on from their former striker.

He said: "It's not the time for me to speak too much about that. I am concentrating and fully backing the players that are in my team now and can score goals. Even defenders. Sometimes defenders score very important goals."

Liverpool manager Klopp has almost all his attacking options available once again but admits he cannot throw them all in at once.

Long-awaited midweek comebacks for Daniel Sturridge, Philippe Coutinho and Divock Origi mean the German has his strongest squad, certainly in relation to the top end of the pitch, since he arrived in October.

With makeshift centre-forward Roberto Firmino having scored five in his last six matches Klopp has decisions to make.

At one stage in Tuesday's FA Cup exit at West Ham, he fielded three strikers in Sturridge, Origi and Benteke alongside winger Jordon Ibe at the same time.

Yet the German knows he cannot just go for broke in an attempt to boost a side which has scored just 32 goals in 25 matches.

"It was a risky formation after our changes, when we had Jordon Ibe, Christian, Daniel and Divock on the pitch, and defended in midfield with Pedro (Chirivella) and a limping Kevin Stewart," he said.

"We wanted to win the game and in the moment we saw the chance to do it - but I don't think it's a likely line-up for a Premier League game.

"You need balance and rhythm in your game and you cannot force it with the line-up by bringing all of your strikers and hoping that one of them will score a goal. That's not how it works."

Despite Sturridge's return to fitness and Benteke's obvious desire to play against the club he left in the summer for B#32.5million it is likely Firmino will start up front again.

"He's a good player, there's no doubt about this. A few weeks ago we had no strikers and now we have four strikers," said Klopp.

"Roberto is much more stable and has much more consistency in his performances than when I came here.

"He is showing what he's capable of and that's good for all of us."

Source: PAR