Ahead of the impending appointment of Alan Pardew of their new manager, Crystal Palace will attempt to exit the Premier League’s bottom three with a win over Aston Villa.
The home side will currently be feeling relatively comfortable, sitting five points clear of danger, but manager Paul Lambert will still be looking to address their lack of goals, with only 11 scored in the first half of the season.
In recent weeks Villa have been hampered by a number of red cards, so will be determined to keep 11 men on the pitch this time. That said, they battled hard last time out against Sunderland and appeared the more likely to break the deadlock in a poor 0-0 draw.
It has been a busy few days at Crystal Palace, with Neil Warnock having lost his job ahead of the game at Queens Park Rangers, in which caretaker-boss Keith Millen led them to a creditable draw – and they had some good chances to come away with all three points.
Now it appears that former player Pardew will take over after four years at Newcastle United, but he will have a difficult job with the club struggling in the bottom three and lacking momentum. His first task would be to find a regular goalscorer.
Gabriel Agbonlahor and Kieran Richardson both return for Villa after suspension, but Fabian Delph now serves a ban of his own. Ciaran Clark and Tom Cleverley are major doubts.
The Eagles are still without Marouane Chamakh, and captain Mile Jedinak is also a big miss as he has left to represent Australia in the Asia Cup.
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