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Barclays Premier League

Villa Park (ATT 37,752) 26th December 2013 - Kick off 15:00

A Villa Aston Villa vs Crystal Palace C Palace


C Palace 1

D Gayle (90+2)

Premier League preview: Aston Villa host Crystal Palace at Villa Park

Last Updated: 24/12/13 12:05pm

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Paul Lambert: His side welcome Crystal Palace to Villa Park

Paul Lambert: His side welcome Crystal Palace to Villa Park

Aston Villa welcome Crystal Palace to Villa Park on Boxing Day, with both sides looking to return to winning ways.

The hosts have suffered defeat in their last three Premier League outings and have not claimed three points at home since the 2-0 win over Cardiff on November 9.

Paul Lambert's side have slipped to 13th in the table following their recent run of poor form and just six points now separates themselves and the relegation zone which they will be hoping to pull away from with a positive result.

Palace enter the game having lost their last two, although their 3-0 defeat to Newcastle was their first loss at home since October.

The arrival of Tony Pulis appears to have boosted the Eagles' survival chances, but they have only managed to claim three points on the road just once this season, beating Hull 1-0 last month.

Depending on other results, a rare away win for Palace could see them climb out of the bottom three for the first time since September.

Paul Merson's prediction

This is a massive game and one that Villa have to win, in my opinion. If they lose, I think they could become one of the teams that get relegated; you always get a side that gets on a slippery slope and can't win a game for toffee and, with Christian Benteke out, Villa are in trouble.

If Villa don't beat Palace that will be four on the trot without a win and even though Palace have been brought back down to earth and are making bad mistakes, I think they will do enough to get a draw as Villa will really miss Benteke.


A Villa Badge A Villa

Villa are set to be without last season's top scorer Christian Benteke, who has been ruled out for the Christmas period with a knee injury.

However, Gabriel Agbonlahor is available for selection once again having served his one-match suspension.

Ashley Westwood will miss out due to a one-match ban for picking up five yellow cards, while captain Ron Vlaar (calf) is a major doubt.

C Palace Badge C Palace

Palace striker Marouane Chamakh will be absent for the visitors after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season in the 3-0 defeat to Newcastle.

Tony Pulis has a number of injury worries to contend with, but Stuart O'Keefe (muscle injury) and Kagisho Dikgacoi (hamstring) could return if they pass late fitness tests.

Jerome Thomas (calf), Adlene Guedioura (rib), Jack Hunt (ankle), Glenn Murray (ACL knee ligament injury) and Paddy McCarthy (groin) are all set to miss the trip to Villa Park.

Previous game's starting line-ups

  • Given 31 Given
  • Hutton 21 Hutton
  • Okore 5 Okore
  • Clark 6 Clark
  • Richardson 18 Richardson
  • Bacuna 7 Bacuna

  • Carles Gil 25 Carles Gil

  • Sanchez 24 Sanchez
  • Cleverley 8 Cleverley
  • Benteke 20 Benteke
  • Weimann 10 Weimann

Team taken from Aston Villa vs Bournemouth (The FA Cup sponsored by Budweiser) on Sunday 25th January 2015

  • Hennessey 13 Hennessey
  • Ward 2 Ward
  • Dann 6 Dann
  • Delaney 27 Delaney
  • Kelly 34 Kelly
  • Zaha 11 Zaha
  • Ledley 28 Ledley
  • McArthur 18 McArthur
  • Campbell 10 Campbell

  • Chamakh 29 Chamakh

  • Sanogo 9 Sanogo

Team taken from Crystal Palace vs Southampton (The FA Cup sponsored by Budweiser) on Saturday 24th January 2015

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Barclays Premier League

Barclays Premier League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Chelsea 22 52
2 Manchester City 22 47
3 Southampton 22 42
4 Manchester United 22 40
5 Arsenal 22 39
6 Tottenham Hotspur 22 37
7 West Ham United 22 36
8 Liverpool 22 35
9 Swansea City 22 30
10 Stoke City 22 29
11 Newcastle United 22 27
12 Everton 22 23
13 Crystal Palace 22 23
14 West Bromwich Albion 22 22
15 Aston Villa 22 22
16 Sunderland 22 20
17 Burnley 22 20
18 Hull City 22 19
19 Queens Park Rangers 22 19
20 Leicester City 22 17