Aston Villa v Crystal Palace 2016
There’s no shortage of drama at Villa, whether it’s protests, meetings in New York or, erm, chewing gum competitions. It’s a measure of how poor Villa’s football has been that such news gets the most attention.
Still, the show must go on. We are mathematically in with a shot, if we can emulate an Leicester-esque run (on steroids)…but don’t let the false hope kill you. It’s the fight and desire that seems to be lacking though, and when it’s not daft mistakes, it’s cruel misfortune.
We might as well go for it against a Palace side with an intimidatingly good away record, but we never do very well against Pardew’s teams. Will the Villa suffer yet another loss (probably), or will fortune smile on Garde’s men?
PALACE HAVE THE BEST AWAY DEFENSIVE RECORD IN THE LEAGUE
Garde on Crystal Palace clash
“We would like to put the same intensity in against Palace as we did against West Ham.
“We need the same feeling around the next game.
“If you look at the West Ham game, we were close to winning. Everyone gave 100% on the field.
“Palace are doing very well. They have a lot of confidence. It will be a tough game. But we have the possibility to win this game.
“Carlos Sanchez is out for the Palace game. Micah Richards should be fit.
“It’s a question of pride to play better and work harder for the club.”
Millen (Palace’s Assistant Manager) on Villa
“We need to get off to a good start and if there is a volatile atmosphere there we don’t want to give them any sort of encouragement to get behind the Aston Villa team.
“Fair enough to Micah Richards to brave the fans and try and explain the situation to them. I don’t know what was said but he is certainly passionate about Aston Villa and what is going on and it is hurting him.
01 Jan 2015 Aston Villa 0 Crystal Palace 0
Villa, then 12th in the table, were made to settle for a point despite having 69% possession
Villa – Last five matches at home: D 2, L 3
Palace – Last five matches away: W 2, D 2, L 1
One to Watch
Yohan Cabaye – The ex-PSG man is Palace’s top scorer this season.
Sure enough, we have a less than impressive record against Palace, and we’ve lost four of the last six league meetings.
It would be horrible if Villa were to go through the season without winning a home (league) game, but it will take a very good performance to see off Pardew’s high-flying Palace.
Unbeaten in their last four league matches away from home, Palace have the best away defensive record in the league, in stark contrast to our Villa Park nerves.
Indeed it is this nervousness that has seen Villa concede the opening goal of a league match on 15 occasions this season – a league high.
Add to that our struggles against Pardew and it has all the signs of another disappointing evening at Villa Park.
“they have got every right to express their feelings.” – Millen on Villa fans
What We Pray the Football Gods Will Provide
Garde said this week that he is not “waiting on a parcel in the post that will be full of confidence.”
A parcel full of transfer money wouldn’t go amiss though, and even if you think the Championship is all but a certainty we should try to get some new players in.
Fair play to our captain Richards who went up close and personal with some angry Villa fans after the Wycombe match on Saturday.
“We’re trying” he insisted, but the problem is that Villa have the air of a team already resigned to prospect of the second tier.
Hopefully we see a performance to show the rarely glimpsed potential of the squad, with more moments like Gil’s Sunderland goal than any further footballing nightmares.
Why Villa Have Got This Game in the Bag
Villa have got to try and ignore the league table somehow. Garde was right – we did play well against West Ham, and haven’t seen a performance nearing that level since.
With Leicester up next at Villa Park we have to pick up all the points we can from Tuesday’s match. Still, there is hope.
Palace have failed to score in their last three games in the league, and let’s not forget were on the receiving end of a 3-0 thrashing against a resurgent Chelsea not long ago.
What little is left of Villa’s shattered confidence should not have been too damaged by a 1-1 draw against lower league opposition. Just look at how Swansea did!
Palace’s success story should inspire Villa. They were in the relegation zone with 17 points last season and now, of course, are seventh.
A rare win at Villa Park won’t get Villa out of danger – far from it. But it might temporarily subside the bad vibes in B6.
Hopefully it’s a decent Tuesday evening for the Villa faithful – let’s not go down without a fight.
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