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Saturday media watch [13.02.16]

Stat pack: Vital Okore role explained Garde: We have to tap into our inner strength to succeed
Saturday media watch [13.02.16]

*The extracts on this page are taken from various newspapers and media outlets. They do not necessarily reflect the views of Aston Villa.

Birmingham Mail: Rémi Garde reckons Liverpool will soon 'wake up' and realise their true potential. The Aston Villa boss believes the Reds are one of the most talented teams in the division and expects a difficult afternoon on Sunday. Liverpool's indifferent form makes them unpredictable and despite fielding a team largely made up of fringe players in midweek, the crushing extra-time defeat at West Ham has left Jurgen Klopp's men down.

Birmingham Mail: Rémi Garde has told his players to pay special attention to returning striker Christian Benteke when Aston Villa take on Liverpool this weekend. The claret and blues boss reckons the big Belgian will be fired-up on his first visit back to Villa Park and desperate to end an 11-game goalscoring drought. Benteke has come under fire after failing to find the net for seven weeks but Garde knows he will still pose major problems for his Villa side if he starts in Sunday's clash.

Daily Mail: Aston Villa boss Rémi Garde has warned that misfiring Christian Benteke could return to haunt his old club. The Frenchman also feels Liverpool can rise at any time under Jurgen Klopp as the German battles to find consistency at Anfield. Benteke has struggled for goals since his £32.5m summer switch from Villa, netting just seven in 30 games for the Reds. He scored 49 goals in 101 outings during a three-year spell at Villa and helped save them from relegation last season. But despite Benteke's struggles for his new club Garde insisted he will be a danger ahead of the Belgium international's first return on Sunday.


Tamworth Herald: Rémi Garde believes the sleeping giant that is Liverpool will soon wake up - along with their Belgian beast Christian Benteke. The 49-year-old admits he is envious of Jurgen Klopp's attacking options as the pair go head to head on Valentine's Day. Liverpool have been inconsistent this season and currently find themselves firmly in mid-table. "I'm too comfortable with teams that are not in a good mood because they will wake up, especially a club like that; especially a team with threatening players up front."

Daily Star: Rémi Garde is hoping Christian Benteke's luck is not about to change. The Villa boss Garde knows the Liverpool striker's 11-match streak without a goal has to end soon. And he's praying the man Villa sold for £32.5m in the summer doesn't come back to haunt his old club. Benteke is struggling to find any sort of real form - a bit like Jurgen Klopp's misfiring Merseysiders. But Garde says he is wary of coming up against players and teams who are having a tough time.

The Sun: Jack Grealish's nightmare season has taken a turn for the worse after he was ruled out of Aston Villa's home clash with Liverpool with an ankle injury. The 20-year-old twisted his right ankle in training and has no chance of featuring against the team he terrorised at Wembley last April in the semi-final of the FA Cup, when he was at the peak of his form under Tim Sherwood.

Tamworth Herald: Rémi Garde has cited similarities between his Aston Villa reign and Jurgen Klopp's short tenure at Anfield - comparing their roles like 'jumping straight into a big bath'. The two foreign coaches go head to head in Sunday's Valentine's Day clash at Villa Park. And, when asked if Klopp is struggling to impose his philosophy similar to himself, Garde said: "Probably the similarity is when you arrive in the middle of a season, straight away you are in a big bath, a hot bath. "It takes time. There is no miracle. Working is the only way to change things."


Daily Express: Christian Benteke has three months to prove he fits Jurgen Klopp's vision after the Liverpool manager challenged him to solve his stuttering form. Klopp revealed he has held a series of talks with the £32.5m striker but warned that ultimately the onus for revitalising his poor performances lies squarely with Benteke. Benteke faces a return to former club Aston Villa on Sunday clearly fighting for his Anfield future despite being the club's leading scorer with seven goals.

Daily Mirror: Rémi Garde has made peace with Gabby Agbonlahor and claims he is unfazed by the striker not celebrating goals. Agbonlahor has started Aston Villa's last two league games and scored in the 2-0 win over Norwich but did not celebrate the goal. The striker, 29, had not previously begun a game for Garde after clashing with the Frenchman.

Best of the Rest

BBC Sport: Valencia boss Gary Neville says he is remaining calm and focused despite failing to win any of his nine La Liga games since taking over. Neville's side are 14th, four points above the drop zone, before Saturday's visit of Espanyol.

Sky Sports: Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal says the club do not need to clarify his position - because claims about his future are being invented by the media. United have prepared for Saturday's trip to Sunderland amid newspaper stories suggesting that Jose Mourinho taking over at Old Trafford in the summer is a 'done deal'.

BBC Sport: Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri says he does not want to be woken up from his Premier League title dream. The Foxes are five points clear of Tottenham at the top of the table, following Saturday's 3-1 win over Manchester City at Etihad Stadium.

*The extracts on this page are taken from various newspapers and media outlets. They do not necessarily reflect the views of Aston Villa.

By @AVFCOfficial 13th February 2016
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