Aston Villa v Liverpool: Hosts have ´no chance´ unless Norwich lessons are learned, warns Garde

12 February 2016 13:42

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Aston Villa have no chance of a result against Liverpool on Sunday unless lessons are learned from their win over Norwich City, according to manager Remi Garde.

The Premier League’s bottom club sealed a vital three points with a 2-0 victory against Alex Neil’s side last week to move them to within eight points of safety, and give them some hope of beating the drop.

Yet Garde has warned his players that they must sharpen up their all-round display if they are to spring a surprise against Jurgen Klopp’s side, who beat them 3-2 in the reverse fixture prior to the German’s arrival as manager.

“If we are playing the same game against Liverpool we will have no chance to have points,” said Garde. “Against Norwich we deserved the win but in the second half they created many opportunities and if we were unlucky we would have drawn the game.

“My job is to say ‘well done lads for the victory and three points but the football we played won’t be enough to take points from the Liverpool game’.

“We won the game but not in the best way we could have done it. I was not completely happy with the game we played.”

Liverpool exited the FA Cup this week after a 2-1 extra-time defeat to West Ham United in their fourth-round replay, but their recent form against Villa suggest Sunday could be the ideal chance to recapture winning ways.

The Reds have won on their last four visits to Villa Park and have only been beaten once in 17 league trips, while they have not conceded a league goal on the ground since March 2013.

With Liverpool sitting 19 points above their opponents in the table after 25 matches, Klopp has called on his players to demonstrate their superiority and ignore any distractions surrounding Villa’s scrap for survival.

“It’s not a coincidence we are ninth and Aston Villa are bottom, and we have to use it,” he said. “That’s how you prepare a game.

“It’s not our thing to think about what Villa’s target is for this game, we have to be strong and do everything to reach our own targets. The Premier League is always difficult so we have to ignore this fact.”

Klopp confirmed on Friday that Joe Allen will miss the game due to a shoulder injury, while Dejan Lovren is still struggling with a muscle problem and Martin Skrtel is yet to resume full training.

Steven Caulker has shrugged off a back complaint, however, while Daniel Sturridge, Divock Origi and Philippe Coutinho are all set to be involved after featuring against West Ham.

The injury news for Villa is far less positive as they prepare to face former striker Christian Benteke while they grapple with their own crisis in attack.

Rudy Gestede (hamstring), Libor Kozak (ankle) and Jordan Ayew (suspension) are all ruled out, along with long-term absentee Adama Traore (foot), meaning Gabriel Agbonlahor will likely lead the line alone once more.

Jack Grealish (ankle) and Carlos Sanchez (hamstring) are also out, though Alan Hutton is set to return to the bench after recovering from his own hamstring complaint.

 

Key Opta Stats:

– Christian Benteke scored five goals in six appearances in all competitions against Liverpool for Aston Villa before moving to Merseyside this summer.
– Benteke is two goals away from netting 50 in the Premier League (currently 48), but hasn’ scored in his five league appearances since scoring the winner against Sunderland in December.
– Since joining the club on January 2 2013, Daniel Sturridge has only played one more game (60) than he’s missed (59) for Liverpool in the Premier League.
– Aston Villa are unbeaten in their last four Premier League games at Villa Park (W2 D2 L0) – they haven’t gone five unbeaten at home in the competition since January 1 2015.

– Liverpool have conceded a joint-league-high eight goals from corners this season in the Premier League – two more than they conceded in the whole of 2014-15 (6).

Article source: http://www.soccerway.com/news/2016/February/12/aston-villa-v-liverpool-hosts-have-no-chance-unless-norwich-lessons-are-learned-warns-garde

Cannavaro sacked by Al-Nassr

12 February 2016 07:43

Former Italy captain Fabio Cannavaro has been sacked as coach of Saudi Arabian side Al-Nassr.

Cannavaro was originally given 22 games to help Al-Nassr retain their Saudi Pro League crown but his reign was cut short after just 12 matches at the helm, following a 4-3 defeat to third-from-bottom Najran on Thursday.

The former Juventus defender, who left Chinese champions Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao last June, only took control of first-team affairs in October, following the departure of Jorge da Silva, but has failed to help the club mount a title challenge.

Al-Nassr are sixth in the standings, some 18 points behind leaders Al Hilal, and have won just once in 2016 after claiming the league title last May.

Cannavaro’s contract at the Middle Eastern club was only due to run until the end of the campaign.

Article source: http://www.soccerway.com/news/2016/February/12/cannavaro-sacked-by-al-nassr

Emery urges against Camp Nou final

12 February 2016 00:59

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Sevilla coach Unai Emery does not want Spain’s football authorities to give Barcelona “a second Lionel Messi” and allow the Copa del Rey final to be played at Camp Nou.

Emery’s side booked their place in the decider – and a May date with Barca – after drawing their semi-final second leg with Celta Vigo 2-2 at Balaidos on Thursday.

The result handed Sevilla a 6-2 aggregate victory and a first Copa final appearance since they won the competition in 2010.

Now La Liga leaders Barcelona are all that stands between Emery and the famous trophy and he is keen to ensure a level playing field before kick-off.

“I hope the final will not be like the past in the Nou Camp [this] year,” he told a press conference. “I’d rather play earlier in China than there.

“I hope [there is] not the injustice to play there because it would give more advantage to Barcelona. It would be like giving them a second Messi.”

Asked if he wanted the final to be played at the Santiago Bernabeu – the home of Real Madrid – Emery said: “I want to play where the fans of Sevilla feel more comfortable, but not in the Nou Camp.”

Reflecting on his players’ display at Balaidos, where goals from Ever Banega and Yevhen Konoplyanka cancelled out Iago Aspas’ double strike for Celta, Emery expressed his satisfaction.

“I am very proud of my team, and more about how the game has passed,” he said. “We have competed without the ball, then with ball. It was also important to get out of here undefeated.”

Sevilla president Jose Castro is equally as adamant that Barca must not be handed a home game in the final.

“Sevilla obviously will not play at Camp Nou,” said Castro. “The Calderon may be an option, the Bernabeu may be an option. This just finished and I guess that between tomorrow and Monday will meet the RFEF. For us, where the fans see comfortable will prevail.”

Emery will have to do without midfielder Steven N’Zonzi in the final, after the midfielder received a second yellow card after the match for dissent. 

Article source: http://www.soccerway.com/news/2016/February/12/emery-urges-against-camp-nou-final

Emery urges against Camp Nou final

12 February 2016 00:59

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Sevilla coach Unai Emery does not want Spain’s football authorities to give Barcelona “a second Lionel Messi” and allow the Copa del Rey final to be played at Camp Nou.

Emery’s side booked their place in the decider – and a May date with Barca – after drawing their semi-final second leg with Celta Vigo 2-2 at Balaidos on Thursday.

The result handed Sevilla a 6-2 aggregate victory and a first Copa final appearance since they won the competition in 2010.

Now La Liga leaders Barcelona are all that stands between Emery and the famous trophy and he is keen to ensure a level playing field before kick-off.

“I hope the final will not be like the past in the Nou Camp [this] year,” he told a press conference. “I’d rather play earlier in China than there.

“I hope [there is] not the injustice to play there because it would give more advantage to Barcelona. It would be like giving them a second Messi.”

Asked if he wanted the final to be played at the Santiago Bernabeu – the home of Real Madrid – Emery said: “I want to play where the fans of Sevilla feel more comfortable, but not in the Nou Camp.”

Reflecting on his players’ display at Balaidos, where goals from Ever Banega and Yevhen Konoplyanka cancelled out Iago Aspas’ double strike for Celta, Emery expressed his satisfaction.

“I am very proud of my team, and more about how the game has passed,” he said. “We have competed without the ball, then with ball. It was also important to get out of here undefeated.”

Sevilla president Jose Castro is equally as adamant that Barca must not be handed a home game in the final.

“Sevilla obviously will not play at Camp Nou,” said Castro. “The Calderon may be an option, the Bernabeu may be an option. This just finished and I guess that between tomorrow and Monday will meet the RFEF. For us, where the fans see comfortable will prevail.”

Emery will have to do without midfielder Steven N’Zonzi in the final, after the midfielder received a second yellow card after the match for dissent. 

Article source: http://www.soccerway.com/news/2016/February/12/emery-urges-against-camp-nou-final

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