Both Daryl Janmaat and Vurnon Anita have been passed fit for the vital game at Villa Park tomorrow. but we expect Vurnon to keep his place following some outstanding displays from the Dutchman – but it looks like Daryl will be back available on the bench.
Rafa Benitez – tough game at Villa
Rafa Benitez expects a tough game tomorrow from Aston Villa, who will be going all out to break an 11 game losing streak in their final home game of the season:
“The mood is very positive.” “Everybody is training well and has the right mentality to approach a difficult game at Aston Villa.”
“The players believe that we can do well and the way they are working is the key to moving forward.” “Aston Villa are a good team but they are in a bad position because they have lost confidence.”
“They have some good players so for us the main thing is to be sure that we keep playing at our level – if we do that I am confident that we will win.”
“I don’t see an easy game.” “Villa will play to win because they are professionals. It’s not fair for a manager to comment on the weaknesses of the opposing team.”
“You saw at Watford that their players are still trying, but they are where they are because they have made mistakes and we are the same.”
“I know something will happen with the Villa protests off the pitch, but we cannot change these things so we have to concentrate on our game and not let it change that.”
“Sometimes it’s good because it makes their players nervous, but sometimes it’s bad because it can make them perform better.” “I think it will go down to the final day.”
“Obviously we have to win but so do the other teams. Even if we win at the weekend and the other teams don’t, they still have a game in hand so I think it will go right to the end.”
“We cannot change what other teams will do, the only thing we can do is try to get 3 points in our games.”
“At the moment we’re just concentrating on getting 3 points against Aston Villa.”
Rafa is obviously worried his players will be over-confident and think a win is a foregone conclusion – it isn’t.
It isn’t by any means.
But most fans think we can win this game – let’s hope the Geordie fans are right on that – a win would be simply terrific.