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Aston Villa vs. Crystal Palace: Open match thread

Join us for this year's Boxing Day fun, which is hopefully significantly more fun that last year's.

Paul Thomas

Aston Villa's last Boxing Day win came in 2005, a 4-0 thumping of Everton that featured goals from Mark Delaney, Juan Pablo Angel, and a brace from Milan Baroš. Liverpool qualified for the Champions League that season, Blackburn Rovers finished 6th, Portsmouth narrowly avoided relegation, and Charlton Athletic-lead by young phenom striker Darren Bent-and Middlesborough both finished above not only Villa but Manchester City as well. It was awhile ago, is the point I'm making.

That whole "ending the home winless run against Manchester United" thing didn't turn out especially well, so hopefully this goes a bit better. Crystal Palace are really not a very good Premier League team, but Villa haven't looked like one these past few weeks either; they're undeniably a more talented side even without Ron Vlaar and Christian Benteke, but that doesn't really matter too much if you're incapable of stringing passes together or getting the ball into the box on the rare occasions it enters the final third.

So yeah, time to get back to not playing awful football, guys. This seems like a good time to start.


Aston Villa: Guzan; Luna, Baker, Clark, Lowton; Weimann, Delph, El Ahmadi, Albrighton; Agbonlahor, Kozák.

Bench: Bowery, Tonev, Bacuna, Gardner, Steer, Helenius, Sylla.

Crystal Palace: Speroni; Parr, Delaney, Gabbidon, Mariappa; Bannan, Jedniak, Ward, Puncheon; Bolasie, Jerome.

Bench: Kevin Phillips, Price, Moxey, Campaña, Williams, Gayle, Boateng.