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Aston Villa boss Gerrard ready for Crystal Palace: I had many battles against Patrick

Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard is looking forward to locking horns with Crystal Palace counterpart Patrick Vieira.

Former Arsenal captain Vieira will be in the opposite dugout taking charge of Crystal Palace when Aston Villa arrive at Selhurst Park and the pair had many fierce battles during Gerrard's time as Liverpool skipper.

"He's a man I've got a lot of admiration and respect for, I had many battles against Patrick," Gerrard said.

"He was a top, top footballer. I know he's a winner and a competitor and he's started really well at Crystal Palace. He's changed the style and built on the good work. He's got his team flying high at the moment.

"I'm not going to be boasting here. He's 6ft 5 and strong and I have to stand next to him on Saturday."

Gerrard knows a trip to 10th-placed Crystal Palace will be "tough".

"They have been very creative and a lot of variety in their forward play," he said.

"They have recruited very well and Selhurst Park is always a hard place to go. This game is about us and we go there with confidence and belief that we can take something from the game."

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