February the fourteenth, the day of love, is the day that lovers spend together. So what better day to follow the love of your life at Villa Park? The problem for many is that over the last few years they have fallen out of love with the great club, having endured seasons of narrowly escaping relegation before this calamitous campaign. Could Valentine’s Day be the day that kickstarts the love affair and reignites the dream that the Villans could still stay up?
A win on Sunday could move the Villans to just five points off safety with their three closest rivals all playing on Saturday. Sunderland host a resurgent Manchester United, Norwich City host West Ham United and Newcastle United travel to Stamford Bridge to take on Chelsea, a team that is unbeaten under Guus Hiddink. Although the visit of Liverpool would normally be a game that you would take a point from, given Villa’s recent home league form and Liverpool’s average season, stranger things than a home win have happened.
Garde’s men will head into the game unbeaten in four home games at Villa Park (W2, D2) and having scored in every single game. They have also only lost twice at home since Garde took over at the beginning of November and after battling their way to three big points against Norwich City, they will be full of confidence.
The performance in the game may not have been the best one so far under Garde but the side found a way of digging out three points, something which can only bode well.
The visitors are inconsistent on their travels, having won two and lost two of their last four trips away from Anfield, with those two wins coming against Villa’s relegation rivals, Sunderland and Norwich City. A fact that may give the visitors a little confidence coming into the game is that they have won on their last four visits to B6.
With a tough run of games ahead – Stoke City and Manchester City away and Tottenham Hotspur and Everton at home – followed by a relegation six-pointer away to Swansea City, the Liverpool game could be crucial to making up ground and catching up on relegation rivals.
With only thirteen games left in the season, the chances of the club surviving are getting smaller each week. With their survival really out of their own hands all the players can do is give 100% and attempt to win every game that they play for the rest of the season.
If, somehow, they manage to pull off a great win and even follow it up against another inconsistent side in Stoke City, who knows what can happen?