Aston Villa vs Crystal Palace - Premier League preview and team news
Thursday 26 December 2013
The first of two consecutive home games for out-of-form Aston Villa is against Crystal Palace, with both sides looking to recover from disappointing defeats last time out.
Villa were once again disappointing as they lost at Stoke City on Saturday, creating very few chances. That result meant they have now won just twice in 11 Premier League games, and defeat here would lead to fears that they could be dragged into the relegation battle. Their home form does not inspire confidence, and even more worrying for Paul Lambert, goalscoring is proving difficult as Christian Benteke suffers a goal drought.
The 3-0 reverse to Newcastle United at the weekend must have come as somewhat unexpected for Crystal Palace, who had kept clean sheets in their three home games prior to that. It did not alter their position in the table, however, as they remain just a point adrift of safety, and with a visit to title favourites Manchester City coming up next, they will be targeting this game as opportunity to take three valuable points.
Ashley Westwood is absent for Aston Villa after receiving five yellow cards. The home side also have doubts over Benteke, Ron Vlaar and Joe Bennett.
Crystal Palace are without the suspended Marouane Chamakh, and Stuart O’Keefe and Kagisho Dikgacoi are both doubts. Glenn Murray, Jerome Thomas, Jack Hunt and Adlene Guedioura are all sidelined by injury.
See what the expert tipsters at OLBG are tipping on Aston Villa v Crystal Palace