Aston Villa

Aston Villa

Premier League • England

Gerrard impressed with Marsch as he warns Aston Villa of biggest new Leeds threat

Steven Gerrard Aston Villa

Steven Gerrard has warned his Aston Villa players of the new-look Leeds United side looking to stamp their mark under Jesse Marsch.

Since returning to the Premier League, Leeds have earned a reputation for Marcelo Bielsa’s man-marking system. While the tactics won Bielsa his plaudits at times, the manager’s luck eventually ran out.

Indeed, the Argentine got the sack in February after Leeds lost five out of a run of six Premier League games. More tellingly, though, they conceded 21 goals in that time.

As a result, former RB Leipzig manager Marsch has stepped in to try and steer Leeds away from a relegation battle.

He lost his first match in charge, going down 1-0 to Leicester at the King Power Stadium. Gerrard’s Villa are up next at Elland Road.

And the Villa boss is well aware of the challenge his side now face in facing up against the new-look Leeds.

“Tactically, you’ll see a change – you’ll have seen that in the game against Leicester,” Gerrard told his pre-match press conference. “Marcelo Bielsa was very unique, as in certain areas of the pitch he’d go man-to-man and players would get followed in different positions.

“You also heard about different training regimes that they’d practice and try to back up in the games. I’m sure Jesse will want to put his own stamp on things.

Gerrard not in control of Coutinho situation as permanent signing not guaranteed

Gerrard not in control of Coutinho situation as permanent signing not guaranteed

Steven Gerrard is not in control of the Coutinho transfer as the Brazilian isn’t guaranteed to stay at Aston Villa after this season

“You could see at the weekend that there were slight changes, in terms of tactics. Personnel-wise, it won’t be too much different. We know we’re in for a tough game. Watching Leeds at the weekend, they could have quite easily have got something out of the game.”

Indeed, Gerrard highlighted Leeds’ “dangerous” attacking threat as a surefire sign of Marsch’s arrival. The former Liverpool midfielder also praised the defensive effort and claimed he saw “an improvement from afar”.

As well as the players gelling to Marsch, the Leeds fans can also get their club’s new manager accustomed to life at Elland Road.

Gerrard added: “I’m sure he’ll be wanting to get the Elland Road crowd right behind him, it’s his first home game.

“We have to be ready and prepared for that. It’s got all the makings of being a fantastic game.”

Gerrard, Villa have history with Leeds

Philippe Coutinho, Jacob Ramsey, Ollie Watkins Aston Villa v Leeds February 2022

If the previous fixture between Leeds and Villa is anything to go by, Gerrard’s prediction will be right.

The two sides produced a thrilling 3-3 draw at Villa Park in February. Philippe Coutinho and Jacob Ramsey starred for the hosts, who recovered from a goal down to lead 3-2.

Daniel James made it 3-2 with his second goal just before half time. The Wales international impressed in an unorthodox striker role.

Diego Llorente then equalised from a set-piece, but he faced criticism before that for his role in the Leeds defending.

Leeds and Villa are 10 points apart in the Premier League, with the Whites only two points above the bottom three.

Villa, meanwhile, are looking to cement a mid-table finish and creep into the top half.