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Preview: Aston Villa vs Crystal Palace – prediction, team news, line-ups

Aston Villa welcome Crystal Palace at Villa Park on Saturday, seeking redemption for a disastrous loss at Liverpool a fortnight ago.

September’s international break came at an opportune moment for Unai Emery’s side after the Reds thrashed them 3-0 at Anfield to arrest their four-match winning run in all competitions. 

In addition to beating Scottish outfit Hibernian in both legs of their Europa Conference League qualification play-off tie via a combined score of 8-0, Vila had picked apart Burnley and Everton before their Anfield mauling.

A 4-0 demolition of the Toffees in round two got their Premier League home campaign off to a flying start after a demoralising 5-1 defeat at Newcastle United on the opening weekend.

A scintillating 3-1 triumph at Turf Moor in the follow-up showed that placing them in a top-six frame in our Villa season preview could be an accurate prediction.  

However, we may have underestimated Roy Hodgson by putting the visiting side in another season-long struggle in the lower reaches in our Palace 2023/24 preview

It’s been almost a decade since the Eagles last finished in the upper half of the Premier League table, but the 76-year-old manager looks poised to change that narrative this term.

Barring a narrow 1-0 home loss to Arsenal on day two, Hodgson’s side have gone unbeaten in their remaining three league matches this season (W2, D1), heading into the break in a respectable seventh place. 

Match Preview

Villa Park has been a happy hunting ground for the Lions this season as they romped Hibernian and Everton by an aggregate score of 7-0 in their only two home outings here thus far.

Quick out of the blocks, Emery’s men have opened the scoring within the first 18 minutes and bagged precisely two first-half goals in both victories, highlighting the potential for a fast start.

Putting Everton to the sword saw Villa extend their outstanding winning Premier League streak on home soil to eight matches, a run that could stretch to nine against Palace. 

Since a 1-0 loss in 2013, Villa have gone undefeated in six consecutive home league encounters against the London outfit (W4, D2), including a hard-fought 1-0 triumph in this fixture last season.

Odsonne Edouard stole the show in Palace’s last Premier League game before the international break, scoring a second-half brace to inspire his side to a 3-2 home win over Wolverhampton Wanderers.

In stark contrast to the Eagles’ perennial struggle on hostile turf, they have impressed on the road in the early season, clocking a win and a draw on their opening two league travels.

But since they’ve netted precisely once on both occasions, their bid to improve their underwhelming scoring record at Villa Park looks unconvincing. 

Palace have failed to find the net in five of their eight Premier League visits to Villa Park in the 21st century, scoring precisely one goal per game in the remaining three. 

Team News

Weakened by the absences of Emiliano Buendia, Diego Carlos, Kortney House, Tyrone Mings and Jacob Ramsey, Villa boss Emery faces a selection nightmare ahead of this one.

Palace will take this trip without Michael Olise and Matheus Franca, while Marc Guehi’s availability is up in the air after the England international picked up a knock during the break.

Aston Villa potential starting line-up:

(4-2-3-1): Emiliano Martinez; Matty Cash, Ezri Konsa, Pau Torres, Lucas Digne; Boubacar Kamara, Youri Tielemans; Moussa Diaby, John McGinn, Leon Bailey; Ollie Watkins.

Crystal Palace potential starting line-up:

(4-2-3-1): Sam Johnstone; Joel Ward, Joachim Andersen, Marc Guehi, Tyrick Mitchell; Cheick Doucoure, Jefferson Lerma; Jordan Ayew, Eberechi Eze, Jeffrey Schlupp; Odsonne Edouard.

We Say: Aston Villa 2-1 Crystal Palace

This could be the end of the road for Palace’s unbeaten away league start.

Villa have been unplayable at home since the beginning of March, and we expect that trend to continue on Saturday.

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