Aston Villa travel down to London looking for back-to-back Premier League wins since the final two games of the 2020-21 season.
The Villans make the trip to Selhurst Park to take on a Crystal Palace side that they have found difficult to beat away from home of late, having last won there in 2014.
Two of the best midfielders in Premier League history will pit their wits against one another from the dugout as Steven Gerrard will be looking to continue his early good form against Patrick Vieira who has overseen an impressive start to the campaign for the Eagles.
A much needed win for Villa against Brighton has seen a revitalised confidence amongst the Villa faithful but it will be a difficult game and a good test ahead of Manchester City and Leicester City at Villa Park next week.
Crystal Palace come into the game unbeaten in seven games and have only lost to Liverpool and Chelsea away this season.
The style of play and improvements have started to show each week under Vieira and Palace sit in tenth position in the Premier League with 16 points from 12 games of which seven games have been draws.
A tightly contested table sees them only three points off 6th but also only three points off 16th.
Last season saw Villa win 3-0 at Villa Park on Boxing Day and Crystal Palace won the reverse fixture near the end of the season 3-2.
Games between the two usually see at least team gaining a clean sheet with 8 of the last 10 meetings seeing either side win to nil.
Crystal Palace Team News
The Eagles will be without defender Nathan Ferguson (achilles) and midfielder James McArthur (hamstring) but other than those two, it is very much a full squad to pick from for Patrick Vieira.
Goals have come from across the front line and midfield with former Villa favourite Christian Benteke, Conor Gallagher and Wilfried Zaha all on four goals each.
Possible starting line up:
Guaita, Mitchell, Guehi, Andersen, Ward, Kouyate, Milivojevic, Gallagher, Edouard, Benteke, Zaha
Aston Villa Team News
The injury list appears to be finally easing off for Villa with only Trezeguet confirmed as absent but he is back training following the long absence caused by an ACL injury last year.
Bertrand Traore will also possibly miss the trip as he recovers from a repeated injury.
Douglas Luiz should be back despite a minor doubt over a hamstring injury and Morgan Sanson appears close to finally getting a chance within the side after multiple injuries.
Possible starting line up:
Martinez, Targett, Mings, Konsa, Cash, Douglas Luiz, McGinn, Buendia, Ramsey, Watkins, Ings
One to watch:
A rejuvenated Christian Benteke is today’s focus as he looks to continue his recent good form for club and country.
The former Villan has scored four goals and assisted one in his 12 Premier League appearances, contributing to 28% of the goals scored by Crystal Palace this season.
His four goals have come in the last five games as Patrick Vieira has got to grips with his squad and has worked on a shape and style that has suited the front three in particular.
Powerful, strong in the air a commanding presence mean both Tyrone Mings and Ezri Konsa will need to be on top of their games and the hold up play will also allow for opportunities for Edouard, Zaha and Gallagher to attack.
Head to Head record:
Crystal Palace 13 wins, 14 Draws, Aston Villa 20 wins
Last five meetings:
16 May 2021 – Crystal Palace 3-2 Aston Villa (Premier League)
26 Dec 2020 – Aston Villa 3-0 Crystal Palace (Premier League)
12 Jul 2020 – Aston Villa 2-0 Crystal Palace (Premier League)
31 Aug 2019 – Crystal Palace 1-0 Aston Villa (Premier League)
12 Jan 2016 – Aston Villa 1-0 Crystal Palace (Premier League)
AVILLAFAN MATCH PREDICTION
Despite the usual clean sheets as mentioned earlier, I fancy goals in this one and I’m fully aware how tough it is to go to Selhurst Park and get a result as Palace have proven this season.
Crystal Palace 2-2 Aston Villa
Tip of the day
If you back the 2-2 draw, it is available at around 12/1 currently.
Similarly, both teams to score in both halves is at 12/1 too.
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