Blogs & Opinion


Jamie Redknapp:

Most Popular Posts:

Recent Comments:

Stuart Mcdermott on The thin blue line

"Jamie, superb article as always! I have to say that, as always, you're spot on. Arsenal have no momentum going into the last 5 games and i can't see them getting the results they ... " View all comments

Opinion Archive:

Jamie Redknapp: Aston Villa ace Benteke to light up Saturday Night Football

Jamie Redknapp - Jamie Redknapp Posted 22nd August 2013 view comments

I don't like comparing players, but when Christian Benteke crashed in his superb equaliser against Chelsea on Tuesday night it was impossible not to think of Didier Drogba.

The big Belgian teed up the ball with his right and then smashed the ball in with his left at the near post; it's one of my favourite goals of the season so far and just goes to show how much he's developing as a player.

Benteke: Has three goals in two Premier League games this season

Benteke: Has three goals in two Premier League games this season

It's hard to believe he's still only 22 because he's a real monster; he's got tremendous physical power but also has the touch and ability to bring people into play.

His contract extension was one of the most important signings of the summer and, after scoring twice at the Emirates and again at Stamford Bridge this week, he'll be full of confidence when Liverpool visit Villa Park on Saturday night.

Benteke has got tremendous physical power but also has the touch and ability to bring people into play.

Jamie Redknapp
Quotes of the week

Liverpool PL win %

With Suarez: 39%
Without Suarez: 64%\n

He scored three against them last year and terrorised their defence, so he has every reason to look forward to this clash.

Kolo Toure made his Liverpool debut at Anfield last weekend and did well, considering he's got the tough task of filling Jamie Carragher's void. He knows the game well and has great understanding - but he and Daniel Agger will know they've been in a game against Benteke on Saturday and that should be a great battle to watch.

With the pace of Andreas Weimann and Gabriel Agbonlahor out wide Villa have plenty of attacking threat, as they showed with their impressive win at Arsenal and narrow loss to Chelsea, and will test Liverpool's new centre-back pairing far more than Stoke did.

Partnership

Liverpool, though, despite still being without the suspended Luis Suarez, will be confident of finding the net themselves, especially with the promising partnership of Philippe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge developing.

I never expected Stoke to cause Liverpool any problems last weekend - it was all about whether Liverpool could break their visitors down, and in the end they wasted several chances and needed Simon Mignolet to make himself a hero on his debut by saving a late penalty - but the movement and interchange between Coutinho and Sturridge was sublime at times.

You could see whenever Coutinho got the ball Sturridge's eyes lit up; he just knew the young Brazilian was going to find him - and the pair of them will be crucial for Liverpool while Suarez is on the side lines.

Genius

Interestingly, the stats show Liverpool win more games without Suarez in their side (they have won 39% of Premier League games with him and 64% of their Premier League games without him) and sometimes you feel his presence affects the other players, especially the younger ones.

You might say 'they should be able to handle it' but when you play with someone who throws his hands up in the air whenever he doesn't get the ball it can put you off. Certainly on Saturday Liverpool seemed to play more like a team and Coutinho and Sturridge profited from that.

Don't get me wrong, you need a genius like Surarez in your team and if he's happy to stay at Liverpool he's going to be part of their XI - but he might look at these next five games and, if they get good results, think 'I've got to muck in here and maybe it's not all just about me'.

I reckon they'll have to settle for an exciting 2-2 draw at Villa, though, which should make good viewing on Saturday Night Football. I enjoyed the new show last week and the live studio audience gives it a different feel. Hopefully you liked it to and can join us from 5pm on Sky Sports 1.

back to top

Other Football Experts:

Latest Posts in Football:

Jamie Redknapp

Redknapp fears for City

Jamie Redknapp says Man City are set to limp out of the Champions League after their draw in Moscow....

Graeme Souness

Kop stars or flop stars?

Anfield is still special, says Graeme Souness, but Liverpool are a shadow of what they were....

Latest News RSS feeds

Chelsea maul Maribor

Chelsea took command of Champions League Group G thanks to a thumping 6-0 victory against Maribor at Stamford Bridge.

Late penalty denies City

A controversial late penalty earned CSKA Moscow a 2-2 draw with Manchester City in their Champions League Group E clash.

Kompany: City fans punished

Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany was unhappy his side’s fans were unable to watch their 2-2 draw with CSKA Moscow

Liverpool v Real Madrid preview

Team news for Wednesday's Champions League Group B clash between Liverpool and Real Madrid.

Mourinho happy with display

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho was happy with his side's display as they thrashed Maribor in Champions League Group G.

Features

Champions League: Brief history of Liverpool v Real Madrid

Champions League: Brief history of Liverpool v Real Madrid

With 15 wins between them Liverpool and Real Madrid account for over a quarter of the European Cup winning teams since the tournament’s inception in 1956. And yet, the two clubs have faced each other competitively on just three occasions.

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are closing in on Raul's UEFA Champions League goalscoring record of 71

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are closing in on Raul's UEFA Champions League goalscoring record of 71

With Barcelona and Real Madrid once again among the favourites for Champions League glory and El Clasico coming up this weekend, the rivalry between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo shows no signs of abating. There's even a game between Argentina and Portugal in London next month.

Should Luis Suarez start El Clasico? The case for and against

Should Luis Suarez start El Clasico? The case for and against

Should Luis Suarez be handed his first Barcelona start in Saturday’s showdown with Real Madrid?