Thursday, June 13, 2024

Preview: Crystal Palace vs. Aston Villa – prediction, team news, lineups

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Sports Mole previews Sunday’s Premier League clash between Crystal Palace and Aston Villa, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Looking to continue their marvellous vein of form and finish inside the top half of the league standings, Crystal Palace will welcome Champions League-bound Aston Villa to Selhurst Park on the final day of the Premier League season.

The Eagles head into this campaign closer following a 3-1 win at Wolverhampton Wanderers last weekend, whilst the Villans fought back to earn a dramatic point versus Liverpool on Monday night in the Second City.

Match preview

© Reuters

Crystal Palace’s resurgence under the expert leadership of former Eintracht Frankfurt head coach Oliver Glasner continued in the Black Country last weekend, when the Eagles sealed a fifth Premier League success in their last six contests with the 3-1 beating of Wolves, with the visitors’ troublesome forwards striking again.

Michael Olise, fans’ favourite Jean-Philippe Mateta and Eberechi Eze all breached the net of Wanderers’ stand-in goalkeeper Daniel Bentley, meaning that Crystal Palace have now collected 16 points from their last six matches, fully deserving their status as a side to watch heading into the final gameweek.

Although an 11th straight mid-table finish on England’s top table might appear tiresome to distant onlookers, the Eagles have been a joy to watch since Glasner joined the capital club in February, and Palace could upset the apple cart at the top of the division if they can retain their star men for the 2024-25 term.

Selhurst Park have got used to Mateta’s musical celebrations in the last three Premier League clashes at the venue, with the prolific Frenchman bagging five goals in games versus West Ham United, Newcastle United and an injury-depleted Manchester United, all sides above Glasner’s troops in the table.

As a result, Sunday’s hosts will be confident of earning the maximum points required to take them onto a concluding tally of 49 points for the 2023-24 campaign, with a win versus the Villans potentially enough to lift Palace into the top half of the division, assuming that both Brighton & Hove Albion and Bournemouth drop points.

Aston Villa's Jhon Duran celebrates scoring their third goal on May 13, 2024© Reuters

Just 24 hours after a six-goal thriller against Jurgen Klopp‘s Liverpool side, the Aston Villa squad celebrated wildly at the club’s awards evening as they watched Manchester City record a 2-0 victory at fifth-placed Tottenham Hotspur, guaranteeing the Villans a spot in next season’s Champions League.

Returning to UEFA’s premier club competition for the first time since the 1982-83 term, Villa’s mastermind tactician – and European expert – Unai Emery has pulled off a feat unthinkable just a couple of years ago, when the club were circling the top-tier plughole under the reign of Steven Gerrard.

Despite all the positivity of Champions League qualification, it is fair to say that the Villans have gone off the boil slightly in recent weeks, currently enduring a five-game winless run across the Premier League and a failed Europa Conference League journey, the club’s longest of the season.

Hurtling towards their final-day trip to Selhurst Park on Sunday afternoon, Villa are cemented firmly in fourth position in the top-flight rankings, 11 points behind Liverpool in third and five points ahead of fifth-placed Spurs, who could still be pipped by London rivals Chelsea for a spot in the Europa League.

Enjoying his most lethal spell in front of goal in the Premier League, Ollie Watkins has made the net ripple on 19 occasions in 36 league appearances over the course of a highly-successful campaign, with the former Brentford man making a convincing case to be Harry Kane‘s deputy at this summer’s European Championships for England.

Crystal Palace Premier League form:

Aston Villa Premier League form:

Aston Villa form (all competitions):

Team News

Tottenham Hotspur's Micky van de Ven in action with Crystal Palace's Will Hughes on October 27, 2023© Reuters

Crystal Palace have confirmed that they will be without the services of midfielder Will Hughes on Sunday due to a bruised bone, with the ex-Watford man being replaced in the early stages of the Wolves win following a nasty tackle.

In better news, Eagles boss Glasner has revealed that Jefferson Lerma is available for selection once again, increasing the hosts’ options in the engine room.

Receiving his first-ever red card in the Premier League last time out, 20-year-old Naouirou Ahamada will miss the final fixture of the season for Palace.

Aston Villa picked up a major injury concern during the draw against Liverpool, with Italian Nicolo Zaniolo set to be sidelined until August due to a foot injury.

Despite a calamitous error leading to the Reds’ opener on Monday night, World Cup winner Emiliano Martinez will not be uprooted from the Villans’ net.

Jhon Duran‘s brace completed a sensational comeback for Villa last time out, but it is difficult to imagine the Colombian taking the spot of either leading marksman Watkins or Moussa Diaby at the focal point of the visitors’ attack.

Crystal Palace possible starting lineup:
Henderson; Clyne, Andersen, Richards; Munoz, Lerma, Wharton, Mitchell; Olise, Eze, Mateta

Aston Villa possible starting lineup:
Martinez; Konsa, Carlos, Torres, Digne; Bailey, Tielemans, Luiz, McGinn; Diaby, Watkins

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We say: Crystal Palace 3-1 Aston Villa

Crystal Palace have won each of their last three home matches by an aggregate score of 11-2, meaning that it is difficult to look past the in-form Eagles for victory on Sunday afternoon.

Villa’s away form is significantly poorer than their record at home, and with Champions League football already secured, we can envisage the visitors slumping to a final-day defeat in the capital.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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