Houllier Returns As Villa Faces Liverpool

The Frenchman is returning.

Gerard Houllier is heading back to Anfield.

The Frenchman, who was the manager of Liverpool for six years, will bring his new club to Anfield in hopes of a major victory.

Liverpool is currently licking many wounds, and against most competition, would have a great deal of trouble. Luckily for the Reds, Villa is just as banged up.

The Birmingham-based side will be without Marc Albrighton, Emile Heskey, Steve Sidwell, Nigel Reo-Coker and Stiliyan Petrov, among others. Basically, the majority of the Villains scoring threat is out of this match.

Liverpool's number nine needs to have a big match.

Liverpool is going to need Fernando Torres, Joe Cole, Dirk Kuyt and Raul Meireles to be on their A game. This is a very winnable match, and Liverpool absolutely have to take advantage of it. If Liverpool win, they move up to eighth-place in the Premier League.

This game is even bigger, as Villa are arguably the toughest team Liverpool play for the next several weeks. After this match, Liverpool get Newcastle, Fulham, Blackpool, Wolves, Bolton and Blackburn. Bolton are by far the toughest team in the bunch, and Steven Gerrard should be back for the majority of this stretch.

This is how I see the starting lineup for the Red Men: Reina, Johnson, Kyrgiakos, Skrtel, Konchesky, Cole, Lucas, Meireles, Kuyt, Maxi, Torres.

That is a squad, for the most part, that one can get behind.

Whether or not they can overcome a banged-up Villa side, remains to be seen. But expect Liverpool to give Houllier all he can handle. It’s never easy to play in Anfield for a visiting side. There will be added pressure on Houllier, and that pressure he may not be able to overcome.

Liverpool might be on the brink of a big run.

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