Aston Villa vs Crystal Palace – Pre-game Assessment

Saturday, Sep. 16, 2 pm – Villa Park

On the surface, a visit from Crystal Palace could be considered a serious challenge to our Villans.  They are currently one point and three positions ahead of us in the Premier League table.  Heck, they are sitting 7th, our position for last season, the spot that got us into the Europa competition.  As for our games against them over the last few years, it’s a bit of a toss-up.  Last season, we were soundly beaten (3-1) at Selhurst Park in August while we managed to squeeze a 1-0 plurality at Villa Park in March courtesy of a Joachim Andersen own goal.

In fact, that game was part of simultaneous streaks.  It was the first win in our current string of eight wins at home and for Palace, it was one more failure to win in 2023.  Palace responded before the end of March by firing their manager, the legendary Patrick Vieira, and replacing him with Roy Hodgson.

Like Villa, the London club benefited from the new boss bounce and won three games in a row.  While Hodgson did not match Emery’s achievement overall, his club did manage to claw their way back to 11th place in the table, ahead of vaunted Chelsea.  They achieved that by maintaining a goal against per game defensive standard.  Marc Guehi, Gareth Southgate’s current choice at center-back for England, is the team captain and anchor’s the defense with Andersen.  

It is illustrative that when Hodgson brought in 29-year-old former Man U. property, Sam Johnson, ahead of their goalie for the last five years, Vicente Guaita (36), and the Spaniard demanded to be traded, the manager added another England international, Dean Henderson, as a backup.

Palace will be a challenge – they have already held Brentford to a 1-1 tie at Brentford’s GTech Stadium and limited Arsenal’s star-studded line-up to three shots and one goal at home this season, around wins against Sheffield United and Wolverhampton Wanderers.

However, look closer and we can see that, despite our injury woes, we should comfortably defeat the Eagles.  They no longer have the talented Wilfried Saha, sold to the Turkish team, Galatasaray, for €22.00m and almost exclusively rely on Odsonne Edouard to put the ball in the net.   With the Palace’s most creative player, Michael Olise, just coming off a three-month hamstring injury likely to be limited to a few minutes off-the-bench, we do not expect to feel the same pressure as we were put under at Newcastle and at Liverpool.

With time on the ball. We look to our creative midfield and our brilliant attacking duo of Watkins and Diaby to get us back on the scoreboard as we did so effectively against Everton and Burnley, and against Hibs in the Europa Conference.

Result Prediction:

With our Villa faithful in strong voice.  Prediction:  Aston Villa 2, Crystal Palace 0

Predicted Villa Line-Up:

We predict the Villa line-up will be the same as restarted after the injury to Diego Carlos against Liverpool, with a good chance that Nicolò Zaniolo and Alex Moreno will enter the game off the bench.

Martinez, Cash, Konsa, Torres, Diaby, Kamara, Luiz, McGinn, Digne, Watkins, Bailey

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *