Crystal Palace vs Aston Villa
Before we’ve had time to get over the disappointment of yet another draw, we’re back against Palace on Tuesday – a team who did the double on us last season. There were certainly positives in the 1-1 draw to Burnley, though (the first half anyway). Can we finally get a win?
Warnock on Villa’s dilemma
“You could have said that about us two weeks ago. You can say that about any of the bottom eight or nine teams.
“They are all going to have periods where they look like they are in free-fall. It is how you come out of it.
“They will come to Palace knowing one win can turn their season around. We have to be on guard for that.”
Lambert on the returning Belgian striker
“In my own opinion, when he’s on his game I think he’s one of the best in Europe, let alone in Britain. I’ve seen some brilliant strikers in my time and, when that guy’s on his game, he’s certainly up there. So that’s a massive boost to us.
“I think his performance against Spurs indicated that he was getting back. He’s still going to be match-fitness down because he didn’t play for a number of months, but against Spurs I thought he was fantastic for us.
“He’s a top player and if he keeps progressing the way he’s going then we’ll see where his career goes.”
12 April 2014 Crystal Palace 1 Aston Villa 0
Although we didn’t play too badly a goal from Jason Puncheon (who many thought we’d sign at one point) gave Pulis’ men three points.
Form is Temporary
Crystal Palace – Last five matches at home: W 2, D 1, L 2
Aston Villa – Last five matches away: D 2, L 3
Villa have never won at Selhurst Park in the Premier League era – in five attempts
One to Watch
Mile Jedinak – The Aussie midfielder has bagged five goals in his last eight league games
Facts to Sweep Under the Carpet
It’s always difficult to know what will happen when two inconsistent teams meet. In terms of momentum though, Palace might have an advantage. They’ve picked up four points from Liverpool and Swansea in their last two games. Meanwhile, Villa haven’t won a game since September 13.
If Villa fail to see out a game against newly-promoted Burnley, how are they going to pick up points against Palace, who finished above us last season?
Like Turf Moor, Selhurst Park isn’t a place Villa enjoy visiting. You have to go back to 1980 for a 1-0 away win in the First Division.
There seems to be something rather predictable about Lambert’s men. The inclusion of Joe Cole was justified and he put in an excellent performance, but there’s still the sense that more variety in terms of team selection is needed. Particularly when it comes to changes throughout the game Villa are the only side yet to see a substitute provide either an assist or a goal.
We couldn’t manage a goal against Palace last season which is ominous, particularly considering we’ve only scored three in the last 9 games…
What We Pray the Football Gods Will Provide
We’ve all heard the excellent Benteke song – even the Belgian himself has acknowledged it. Hopefully that will help motivate the striker on his return to Villa, who have seemed to lack that attacking outlet in the past couple of games.
Although Joe Cole has only recently returned from injury it would be a shame not to see more of him on Tuesday as he was probably the best player.
Lets hope Benteke settles back in immediately. He looked like he was returning to his best against Spurs and now that Villa are slightly improved, we might actually start taking our goal-scoring chances.
Why Villa Have Got This Game in the Bag
Crystal Palace surprised a lot of people last season with their form towards the end of the campaign. What was equally surprising was the departure of Tony Pulis.
Since then, they’ve never quite looked the same. Since Palace beat Villa in April, they’ve won two out of eight Premier League home games.
With another assist for Andi Weimann, who has contributed towards 5 out of the 7 Villa goals this season, and some good link-up play between Cole and Agbonlahor against Burnley, there are signs Villa’s attackers are beginning to gel again.
With Benteke back in the ranks and sure to lift the rest of the team, Villa could take advantage of Warnock’s uncertain Palace side.
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