“I think you have to look at the individual quality of the team,” Vieira said in his pre-match interview. “Obviously this is a team that are not where they are supposed to be. They possess huge talent.
“They are a lot stronger than they have shown recently, but I am expecting them with the new manager to be tough to play against. They have a good team, good players, and it’s going to be about how we want to impose ourselves.
“We are pleased with the way that we play our game at the minute. We still have a lot of parts of the game we need to improve. Obviously we are conscious of that.
“But we are pleased with where we are. We just have to keep going and try to improve week after week.”
Vieira, who came up against Gerrard as a player both in the Premier League and at international level, says his and his counterpart’s focus will very much be on today’s game.
“It will be special, of course, after all the games we had against each other,” he said. “But I think today is about us against Villa, and both managers will want to win the game.
“After I will see him and we will talk. It’s always good to see people with experience going back into coaching and to try and help people with their experience.”