Crystal Palace: Match Preview

There were ten changes made by Roy Hodgson to the Crystal Palace team for their mid-week Carabao Cup game against Colchester United of League Two, where they went on to lose on penalties. There will certainly be a feeling of disappointed amongst the fans as who doesn’t love a good cup run? One of my favourite Villa moment in recent years, aside from our Play-Off Final victory, was watching us beat Liverpool 2-1 in the FA Semi-Final at Wembley in 2015. Thankfully however, we made a good start to our own league cup campaign on Tuesday easing past Crewe Alexander 6-1 at Gresty Road, with some important minutes shared around the squad. Lansbury and Hourihane looking very impressive in particular. 

It has been a bit of a mixed bag to start of the Premier League season for Palace, they will certainly be on the ascendancy after their first ever league win over Manchester United at Old Trafford last weekend, albeit after some debatable VAR decisions went against the Red Devils and a Marcus Rashford penalty miss. But take nothing away from the performance, as many of our favourite TV pundits like to do. Palace were good value for their win and counter attacked well with Van Aanholt snatching all three points late into injury time. A late goal similar to our performance on Friday Night Football. 

The Villans come into the game off the back of our first league win of the season, our first win in our last 16 Premier League games in fact. I’m not sure if anyone saw the Jack Grealish twenty losses in a row stat? It was hardly broadcast…..

It was however fantastic to see Wesley get off the mark with a proper centre forward’s performance. The 22 million pound man will no doubt be a crucial asset to the team this year, with Dean Smith mentioning post game to the Sky Sports team how he now has the same amount of goals as Mohammed Salah (this was before Liverpool’s game against Arsenal on Saturday evening!) a tongue in cheek comment that was aimed at some of the striker’s early critics. 

No doubt the Brazilian will prove to be vital over the course of season but none more-so than in our away games where we are more than likely to be without the ball for long periods of time and needing our number nine to perform. Something that worked so effectively in particular against the Toffees was his hold up play, where he was able to bring the midfield into the game meaning possession of the ball higher up the pitch.

Allowing marauding, overlapping runs from the likes of Guilbert who himself had an impressive debut performance at Villa Park.

It is important that Taylor on the other side of the defensive four continues his fine start to the season, hopefully negatingthe threat of Palace’s star winger Wilfred Zaha. The Ivorian was benched for their opening game against Everton after handing in a transfer request just two days before the closing of the transfer window.

This decision by Hodgson seemed to backfire somewhat as The Eagles put in a below par performance against The Toffees, resulting in an opening day draw at Selhurst Park.

There are no easy games in this league, but with a kind run of games it would be a perfect time for the claret and blues to go on a winning streak (another ten I hear you say?!). Villa just ease on the head to head’s in all competitions with 18 wins to the South Londoners 11.  Hoping to make it 19 this Saturday at Selhurst Park ahead of the international break. 

We would love to hear your views, leave your comments below or tweet us at @VBFA_Blog – #UTV 

Richard Billingsley

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