Liverpool FC have been struggling this season, both with their offence as well as defence, mostly due to injuries and also as their key striker Christian Benteke is finding it hard to find the back of the net as often as expected in his new jersey.
The Merseyside club sits on the 9th spot of the Premier League table, 12 points behind Manchester City FC who are at number 4, with 13 games remaining. While players like Daniel Sturridge and Danny Ings have started only 8 games this season in between the both of them, Benteke being unable to find his form doesn’t help Liverpool’s case.
This will be the first time Benteke will be returning to Villa Park since his 32.5 million transfer to Anfield this summer. The Belgium international was brought to Liverpool by Brendan Rodgers following three amazing seasons for Aston Villa FC in which he scored 42 goals in 89 Premier League appearances.
Klopp hasn’t been impressed with Benteke’s form but urges the striker to self-improve
Talking to the club website, Klopp said, “I can do a lot of things but at the end – and it is not only with Christian – the last important help comes from the player himself.”
Benteke failed to score despite a fair amount of chances during Liverpool’s away game against West Ham and Klopp doesn’t seem to be impressed by the striker’s performance. He said, “I saw really good signs at West Ham. In not the easiest part of his career, he really fought and having this number of opportunities is a good sign.
“If he had no opportunities then it would be a much bigger problem. Of course it is not too easy, that’s how it is,” he added.
Christian Benteke has scored only seven goals in 30 appearances for Liverpool this season but remains the club’s top scorer. Undoubtedly, the striker has a lot of responsibilities with Danny Ings not expected to make a return this season. Hopefully, Daniel Sturridge will prove to be of some help, especially since his impressive performance from the last time they faced Aston Villa at Anfield.
Daniel Sturridge expected to start against Aston Villa
Sturridge’s last start was in the English League Cup match against Southampton FC on 2nd December 2015, when he scored 2 goals in a 6-1 win for Liverpool.
He made another appearance in the next match but has been out of action due to injuries for the past two months. The England international’s two goals against Aston Villa when the teams met earlier this season helped Liverpool FC win the fixture 3-2.
Talking about Daniel Sturridge, Liverpool boss said, “He played about 70 minutes so he had normal recovery after training with fewer minutes, he could have trained a little bit more but he was involved in all the things with the players who played the full time against West Ham.”
Having won only three games so far this season, Aston Villa are currently in the relegation zone occupying the last spot on the league table. Liverpool FC don’t seem to have a herculean task on their hands and won’t face many difficulties netting past the home team’s back four, given Christian Benteke and Daniel Sturridge find their form and the back of the net too.