Aston Villa host Crystal Palace at the Villa Park in the Premier League in a mid-table clash. Steven Gerrard’s resurgent Villa are fighting for maximum points now, and so are Patrick Vieira’s Crystal Palace. However, the Midlanders are on the back of a resilient defeat at the hands of their manager’s former club Liverpool. Meanwhile, Palace travels to Villa looking to notch their third successive league win. But Villa knows how to make solid comebacks and backed by the home fans will be looking to get back to winning ways.
Though nothing’s really at stake here for Aston Villa, they would certainly be looking to win this game in a bid to finish in the top half of the table. If they manage to do it, this will be their first top-half finish since 2011. Moreover, Gerrard made it clear after his appointment that he wants to fight for European football from next season onwards. A top-half finish could well lay the foundation for the same, as an exciting summer awaits the Midlanders as well.
Aston Villa Premier League form: L D W W L
Crystal Palace has been scintillatingly reborn this season under Patrick Vieira. The Eagles are playing some really good football, earning them many positive results. As result, Palace are staring at a better finish in the table than last season. However, three wins from the remaining three games could see them finish in the top half, which would be an outstanding achievement in Vieira’s first season in charge. But Crystal Palace needs to start here against Aston Villa away for the same.
Crystal Palace Premier League form: L L D W W
Aston Villa vs Crystal Palace: Team News
The Clarets and Blues’ team news
A big blow for Steven Gerrard would be Ollie Watkins’ unavailability after he came off against Liverpool as a result of sustaining a knock. If the striker is not fit for the Crystal Palace game, Bertrand Traore will surely start for Aston Villa. Another blow is Jacob Ramsey who is out for the season and subsequently misses this game.
Center-back Kortney Hause (abdominal) and midfielder Leon Bailey (ankle) are also confirmed absentees for this game. Gerrard may field an almost same playing eleven from the Liverpool game barring the doubts over Watkins’ match fitness.
Aston Villa’s possible starting lineup:
Martinez; Cash, Konsa, Mings, Digne; Luiz, Nakamba, McGinn; Coutinho, Traore, Ings
The Eagles’ team news
Crystal Palace are without their first-choice goalkeeper Vicente Guaita who is out for the season. Jack Butland has been covering up for Guaita’s absence and should start here as well. However, a huge disappointment for Vieira will be Marc Guehi suffering an ankle injury against Watford in the last game. As a result, the centre-back is doubtful for the trip to Villa.
Tyrick Mitchell replaced Guehi against Watford and should start this game if the latter is unable to return in time. Left-back Nathan Ferguson is out for the season who will be another absentee at Villa Park. Vieira opted for a very young line-up in the last game but could ring up some changes here.
Crystal Palace’s possible starting line-up:
Butland; Clyne, Andersen, Mitchell, Ward; Gallagher, Kouyate, Eze; Olise, Mateta, Zaha
Aston Villa 2-2 Crystal Palace
An interesting game is up for show between Aston Villa and Crystal Palace. Further on, expect end-to-end action as both teams love to attack at the first sight. However, the share of spoils seems an apt result looking at their forms. Villa could get their noses in front at home, but Palace have been nothing short of surprises. Moreover, with Zaha and Gallagher leading the Eagles’ charge, it would be unfair to say that the home side will bag three points.
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