MX23RW : Wednesday, December 30 06:07:35| >> :120:23042:23042:

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

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

Crystal Palace will be looking to bounce back from their seven-goal loss to Liverpool when they continue their 2020-21 Premier League campaign away to Aston Villa on Boxing Day.

The Eagles were thumped by the reigning champions at Selhurst Park last time out, but Villa, who currently sit ninth in the table, recorded an impressive 3-0 win away to Sam Allardyce's West Bromwich Albion.

Match preview

Aston Villa's Anwar El Ghazi celebrates scoring against West Bromwich Albion in the Premier League on December 20, 2020© Reuters

Villa have enjoyed an excellent start to the 2020-21 season, winning seven, drawing one and losing four of their 12 league matches to collect 22 points, which has left them in ninth position in the table.

Dean Smith's side are only actually four points off fourth-placed Everton and have two games in hand over the Toffees, and the hosts will be looking to make it three wins from their last four matches this weekend.

Villa actually lost four times in England's top flight between October 23 and November 30, but they ended a disappointing run by beating Wolverhampton Wanderers on December 12 and have picked up seven points from their last three matches, including an impressive 3-0 victory at West Brom on Sunday.

This match is even more important for Smith's side considering that their next four in the league are against Chelsea, Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur and Everton, while they will also host Liverpool in the FA Cup on January 8.

The seven-time English champions recorded a 2-0 win over Palace in the corresponding match last season, while they have not lost to the Eagles at Villa Park since December 2013.

Crystal Palace's Jeffrey Schlupp celebrates scoring against Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League on December 13, 2020© Reuters

Palace's overall form in the Premier League this season has been relatively solid, picking up 18 points from their 14 matches to sit 13th in the table, just three points behind 10th-placed West Ham United.

The Eagles were stunned on Saturday, though, as they conceded seven times at home to Liverpool; Roy Hodgson's side had actually entered the match off the back of two impressive draws against Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham but were seriously outclassed by the reigning champions.

Palace will be desperate to bounce back at Villa Park and arguably their two best performances of the season have come on their travels, beating Manchester United 3-1 back in September and thumping West Brom 5-1 earlier this month.

Wilfried Zaha's form has been a major plus for the capital side this season, with the attacker netting seven times in 12 Premier League appearances, but a lack of contribution in terms of goals from elsewhere is a concern heading into 2021.

Aston Villa Premier League form: WLLWDW

Crystal Palace Premier League form: LLWDDL

Team News

Ross Barkley in action for Aston Villa on November 21, 2020© Reuters

Villa will again definitely be without the services of Wesley and Trezeguet, but Ezri Konsa and Ross Barkley should be available for selection on Boxing Day.

Barkley had been in terrific form for the club before picking up an injury, but it seems likely that the on-loan Chelsea attacker could be eased back in off the bench, with Anwar El Ghazi and Bertrand Traore both excellent in the team's 3-0 win at West Brom last time out.

Ollie Watkins and Jack Grealish are both certainties to feature in the final third of the field, while John McGinn and Douglas Luiz will keep their spots as the midfield two.

As for Palace, Christian Benteke was suspended for the clash with Liverpool last weekend, but the striker is available for this match and should join Zaha as part of a front two.

James Tomkins continued his recovery from injury with an appearance for Palace's Under-23s side on Monday, meanwhile, and the centre-back could now return to the starting XI alongside Gary Cahill.

Andros Townsend and Jairo Riedewald are also pushing for spots in the side with Hodgson expected to shuffle his pack from the seven-goal loss to the reigning champions.

Connor Wickham, Martin Kelly, Wayne Hennessey, Nathan Ferguson and Mamadou Sakho remain on the sidelines, though.

Aston Villa possible starting lineup:
Martinez; Cash, Hause, Mings, Targett; McGinn, Luiz; El Ghazi, Grealish, Traore; Watkins

Crystal Palace possible starting lineup:
Guaita; Clyne, Tomkins, Cahill, Van Aanholt; Townsend, Riedewald, McArthur, Eze; Zaha, Benteke

SM words green background

We say: Aston Villa 2-1 Crystal Palace

Palace are certainly a lot better then they showed against Liverpool, but we are finding it difficult to back against the hosts here. Smith's side are without a victory in their last four league games at home - suffering three defeats in the process - but we are tipping Villa to edge a narrow game at Villa Park.

Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home/Away:data

Video prediction

Watch the Sports Mole Football Shorts prediction for this game below:


How you voted: Aston Villa vs Crystal Palace

Aston Villa
Crystal Palace
Share this article now:
Did you know...?
Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson pictured on November 7, 2020
Read Next:
Roy Hodgson hopes Crystal Palace can spoil Jurgen Klopp's award party
Latest Sports Video
Sports Mole Logo
Enter your email address to subscribe to Sports Mole's free daily transfer newsletter! Sent twice a day during the transfer window.

rhs 2.0
Todays Game Header Right
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd159333123830
3Leicester CityLeicester169252920929
5Aston Villa1482428141426
7Tottenham HotspurSpurs1575326151126
8Manchester CityMan City147522112926
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham166552321223
11Leeds UnitedLeeds167273030023
12Wolverhampton WanderersWolves166371521-621
14Crystal Palace165472029-919
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle145361724-718
17Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton162771825-713
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom1615101135-248
20Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd160214827-192

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!