Crystal Palace will be looking to pick up their first win of the 2022/23 Premier League season when they host Aston Villa this weekend.

Crystal Palace will welcome Aston Villa to Selhurst Park on Saturday afternoon as they look to register their first victory of the new Premier League season.

Crystal Palace started their campaign on a disappointing note, stumbling to a 2-0 defeat at home to Arsenal. However, they recovered from the setback by putting in a solid display away at Anfield to hold Liverpool to a 1-1 draw. Having taken a step in the right direction, Patrick Vieira’s side will now be aiming to pick up all three points this weekend and get their season on track.

Aston Villa’s season was also off to a torrid start as they fell to a 2-0 loss away from home to newly-promoted side Bournemouth. But Steven Gerrard’s men bounced back with a 2-1 win over Everton last weekend, which has seen them rise to the ninth position in the table. Another win would see them climb further up the table as they aim for a European spot following their activity in the transfer market.

The corresponding fixture last season had ended in a 2-1 win for Aston Villa at Selhurst Park while they managed to play out a 1-1 draw at Villa Park in May earlier this year. Ahead of their latest meeting on Matchday 3 of the new Premier League season, The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at both teams.

Team News & Tactics

Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace have no fresh injury concerns to deal with and will be without four players against Aston Villa in Jack Butland, Nathan Ferguson, James McArthur and James Tomkins. However, Patrick Vieira could make a change or two to the side that started against Anfield, with a shift in formation also on the cards.

Having fielded a five-man defensive unit in the last game, the Crystal Palace manager could revert to a traditional four-man backline, with Joel Ward likely to be the one dropping out of the side. Joachim Andersen and Marc Guehi ought to be the two centre-backs flanked by Nathaniel Clyne and Tyrick Mitchell in the full-back positions.

New signing Cheick Doucoure will hold the fort in the centre of the park for the hosts, with support coming from Jeffrey Schlupp. Eberechi Eze will take up a slightly advanced position in midfield and provide the attacking impetus for the home team. 

The main threat going forward will come from the left flank through star man Wilfried Zaha, who was on target against Liverpool last time out. Michael Olise could get the nod over Jordan Ayew on the right-wing with Odsonne Edouard spearheading the attack for the Eagles, with new signing Malcolm Ebiowei an option from the bench.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Guaita; Clyne, Andersen, Guehi, Mitchell; Doucoure, Schlupp; Olise, Eze, Zaha; Edouard

Aston Villa

In a big blow, Aston Villa new signing Diego Carlos ruptured his Achilles tendon last week and could be out for the rest of the season. Apart from him, there are no other injury concerns for Steven Gerrard with Kortney Hause back in training.

Steven Gerrard is unlikely to make a lot of changes to the side that got the better of Everton in the last game, although there could be one or two alterations. Emiliano Martinez will guard the goal as usual, with the rest of the team lining up in a 4-1-2-1-2 formation in front of the Argentine international.

Carlos’ unavailability should pave the way for Ezri Konsa to start alongside Tyrone Mings at the heart of the Aston Villa defence. Matty Cash and Lucas Digne should line up as the full-backs on the right and left sides respectively, with the duo likely to be in for a tricky job against Zaha and Olise.

New signing Boubacar Kamara will be in charge of shielding the defence from the holding midfield role. John McGinn and Jacob Ramsey will occupy the other two central midfield slots and provide the forward thrust from the middle. Emiliano Buendia, who scored the winning goal against Everton, should replace Philippe Coutinho in the No. 10 role and act as the creator-in-chief.

Danny Ings and Ollie Watkins, who is linked with a move away, will form the two-pronged strikeforce for Aston Villa against Crystal Palace on Saturday afternoon.

Probable Lineup (4-1-2-1-2): Martinez; Cash, Konsa, Mings, Digne; Kamara; McGinn, Ramsey; Buendia; Watkins, Ings

Key Stats

  • Aston Villa won last season’s corresponding fixture 2-1 in what was Steven Gerrard’s second game in charge. They can bag back-to-back away victories in the league against the Eagles for the first time.
  • Crystal Palace are the only club to have faced top-six sides from last season in both of their opening two fixtures in the new campaign, losing 2-0 at home to Arsenal and drawing with Liverpool.
  • The Eagles’ only home league defeat last season against a team who finished in the bottom half of the table came against Aston Villa.
  • Aston Villa have only won once in their last six away league matches (D1, L4).
  • Aston Villa playmaker Philippe Coutinho has only scored one goal and has zero assists in his last 13 league appearances. 

Player to Watch

Wilfried Zaha

Even as speculations over his future continue to do the rounds, Zaha remains Crystal Palace’s MVP in the attacking unit. He scored their only goal against Liverpool last weekend. The Ivorian has ten Premier League goals in 2022, which is only two short of Luka Milivojevic’s club record of 12 in a calendar year. 

However, his record against Aston Villa does not inspire confidence as Zaha has scored one goal and not provided any assists in 12 Premier League appearances versus Villa. That will need to change if Crystal Palace are to stand a chance of coming out with all three points on Saturday.

Prediction

Crystal Palace 1-1 Aston Villa

Aston Villa may have picked up a victory over Everton last time but were not entirely convincing and still need to work out some kinks. Meanwhile, Crystal Palace’s performance against Liverpool will have filled them with confidence heading into this weekend. However, like their opponents, Patrick Vieira’s side still are some way away from being the finished product. So, a stalemate could be the most likely outcome at Selhurst Park.

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