O’Neill: Reds can stage major revival

Aston Villa boss Martin O’Neill believes Liverpool are capable of

rescuing a Champions League spot via a long unbeaten Premier League

run.

O’Neill recalls how his side were in pole position to claim a

top-four place last season before Arsenal hit top form in the final

third of the campaign to overhaul them.

Now a similar challenge is confronting the Reds, who visit

fourth-placed Villa on Tuesday night, after a below-par opening

half of the season and O’Neill believes they are capable of the

same sort of feat.

O’Neill, whose side won 3-1 at Anfield in August, said:

“Liverpool have lost a few games more than they would have thought.

Last season they were terrific.

“They went through the whole season and lost two games. After

three games of this season, they had lost two games, but they are

getting a bit of momentum again.

“It was a big win for them at Anfield against Wolves at the

weekend. We’ve got to be right ourselves, but they are still in

there.

“I heard Arsenal were supposed to be imploding last season,

just about February time, when I think they were in the middle of a

22-game unbeaten run!

“They finished the season very, very strongly and Liverpool

are capable of doing the same thing. They are capable because it’s

Liverpool Football Club.

“Look at Arsenal now. Four weeks ago they were being written

off for the title and now they are right bang in there. That’s what

can happen with the top clubs.”

O’Neill is unconcerned at what reaction there will be to

Villa’s 3-0 defeat against Arsene Wenger’s side and does not

believe his players will suffer any hangover to that setback for

when they tackle Liverpool.

He said: “I’m not too bothered about who says what. I didn’t

get too carried away when we went to Old Trafford a couple of weeks

ago and won there.

“It was three points, it was a boost to confidence and it was

terrific. It changed a desperately poor record for us there as

well, our first win there for 26 years.

“But equally any side can go to Arsenal and get beaten, so I

wouldn’t start to think the result was a major shock all over

Europe.

“You can get beaten, but what we have to do is fight back

against Liverpool and try to win.”

Villa will be without suspended England winger Ashley Young

against the Reds. Young has started all 19 of Villa’s league games

to date this season but will have to serve a one game ban for

collecting his fifth yellow card of the campaign at the Emirates

Stadium.

O’Neill had hinted going into the Christmas period that he

may make changes, particularly with Liverpool having an extra 24

hours to recover from their clash against Wolves.

Striker John Carew, defenders Habib Beye and James Collins

plus midfielders Nigel Reo-Coker, Steve Sidwell and Fabian Delph

will come into the equation for a possible start.