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Steven Gerrard expects tough challenge when Villa face David Moyes’ West Ham

Soccer – Barclays Premier League – Liverpool v Everton – Anfield
(Image credit: Peter Byrne)

Steven Gerrard expects to find beating David Moyes as a manager as tough as he did as a player.

Aston Villa boss Gerrard had many tussles with Moyes’ Everton during his playing career with their arch-rivals Liverpool.

Highlights may have included scoring a hat-trick against the Toffees at Anfield in 2012 but Gerrard remembers many tight and tense Merseyside derbies with Moyes sides.

Gerrard must now pit his wits against the Scot from the touchline as he takes his Villa side to West Ham, where Moyes is now in charge, in the Premier League on Sunday.

“It will be tough because he has created a real tough side to play against,” said Gerrard. “He’s created a really effective team.

“I know how his teams set up because of all the challenges we had against Everton back in the day, they were always well drilled, they were always really honest in how they went about their work.

“I’ve managed to meet David a couple of times around the game and he’s a top guy, a really humble guy.

“I’ve got nothing but praise for the job he has done at West Ham and it’s going to be a tough challenge for us.”

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Villa will go into the game with confidence after climbing to ninth in the table with an impressive 3-0 win at Leeds on Thursday.

Gerrard’s side have now won their last three matches without conceding and scoring nine goals in the process.

Harder challenges lie ahead, however, with this weekend’s game against the sixth-placed Hammers followed by encounters with Arsenal, Wolves, Tottenham and Liverpool.

Philippe Coutinho (right) was among the Villa goalscorers at Elland Road on Thursday

Philippe Coutinho, right, was among the Villa goalscorers at Elland Road on Thursday (Tim Goode/PA)

Gerrard, who took over at Villa Park in November, said: “We want to aim as high as we can. That win puts us in the top half of the league, but the challenges get tougher and tougher.

“There are 11, 12 games left and we want to try and stay in this place, we want to try and take as many points as we can and see where we finish up.

“The idea is to give us a right good platform going into a really important pre-season.”

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