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Liverpool and Villa bosses go head-to-head

Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez can expect a hot reception from Aston Villa fans in the wake of the Gareth Barry saga when the Anfield men face Martin O'Neill's side on Sunday.

The Reds boss will come face to face with his counterpart for the first time following a summer of acrimony between the pair over the abortive Gareth Barry transfer to Liverpool.

He said: "I do not know what response I will get on Sunday (from Villa fans) but I will be only concentrating on what goes on out on the pitch.

"I do not want to say too much, I do not want to analyse too much what has gone on before because we cannot change things now.

"I am now only concerned with how to beat Villa and how to control Barry on the pitch.

"Do I have a good relationship with Martin O'Neill? - I don't think so. But of course I will shake his hand, I am a calm man and I do not have any problems with him about that."

He added: "I had a good relationship with Martin O'Neill before this summer, and I was surprised at what has been said but I insist that I have not spoken to him since April.

"But I do not believe there will be any problem shaking hands, we can do it.

"We know that Barry is a good player, very good for them. We will try to contain him on the pitch and not talk too much about other things that have happened in the summer.

"It is important that we all concentrate on football. But I expect Barry to do his best for his team."

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Tribal Football Staff

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