Unai Emery’s Aston Villa host Crystal Palace which looks set to be a thrilling game based on the performances so far. Last season, both sides won the home fixture but Roy Hodgson’s team will hope to change that trend this time around.
The Villa have had a solid start to the season, having picked up six points from four games. The two defeats they have suffered were away to Newcastle United, which was a 5-1 drumming, and a 3-0 loss to Liverpool, where they never really got going. However, when facing sides that they arguably should beat, they have displayed dominance, confidence and flair which has made Emery’s side an exciting team to watch.
The last match Villa played was that 3-0 defeat to Liverpool where they were stunned by an outrageous Dominik Szoboszlai strike in the third minute. Twenty minutes later, they had lost Diego Carlos due to an injury and Matty Cash had unfortunately doubled Liverpool’s lead via an unfortunate own goal. Despite threatening in the second half, Villa didn’t really create much even with Mohammed Salah wrapping the game up In the 55th minute.
The biggest positive at the moment for the Villa faithful is their attacking philosophy and exciting forwards. The duo of new signing, Moussa Diaby, and Ollie Watkins has been mouth-watering at times, as they have already developed an almost telepathic connection on the field. Combine those two with the flying fullbacks in the form of Matty Cash and Lucas Digne, and Villa turn into a goal machine.
There were question marks surrounding Crystal Palace before the season started after losing their best player and long term superstar Wilfried Zaha, but Hodgson and his men have almost instantly silenced the critics. The Eagles sit in 7th place after four matches, winning twice, drawing once, and losing once. That defeat came at home to Arsenal where they held their own, and the draw was against Brentford, which underlines the fact that Palace can perform against tough opposition.
Crystal Palace’s last match was against Wolves at Selhurst Park, where they won the thrilling game 3-2. They thoroughly deserved the win but the most important moment in the game was the decision to sub on Jean-Phillipe Mateta, who provided excellent link up play and registered two assists.
The biggest aspect missing from palace’s game over the last few years has been that clinical edge, which turns draws into victories. However, the palace faithful will be loving just how ruthless their side has been in front of goal and simply the quality of football they play. The conductor to the Eagles orchestra is Eberechi Eze, who has been one of the best players to watch in the whole Premier League.
This game will be fantastic. The two sides make attacking their priority and therefore, we should see goals from both teams. It is difficult to select a winner for this tie but I do believe one club will come out on top at the final whistle and Palace’s defensive weaknesses were on show versus Wolves.
The final prediction is Aston Villa 2-1 Crystal Palace