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Villama Preview: Crystal Palace v Aston Villa

Fresh off of a win against Everton, Steven Gerrard’s Villans visit Selhurst Park to take on Wilfried Zaha and Crystal Palace. Will Emi Buendia start at 10 after a brilliant performance against the Toffees or will Philippe Coutinho keep his place? And who will step in for the injured Diego Carlos?

Following a complete dud of a season opener, Steven Gerrard has quickly righted the ship with a 2-1 victory over Everton and now it’s on to the fantastic atmosphere of Selhurst Park to take on Crystal Palace. Patrick Vieira’s Eagles managed a draw at Anfield last week and suffered a 2-0 battering at home to Arsenal prior to that. Players to watch for include forwards, Odsonne Edouard and Wilfried Zaha, and central midfielder, Eberechi Eze.

Crystal Palace v Aston Villa - Premier League Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images

FLASHBACK: Steven Gerrard’s early reign as Villa boss continued its positive moment, securing a second win on the bounce, with a 2-1 victory away at Selhurst Park over Crystal Palace thanks to goals from Matt Targett and John McGinn.

Unlike last week, there aren’t too many changes demanded for the upcoming Palace match. However, there are two areas that demand looking at and at least one of them is guaranteed to feature changes. With the achilles heel injury to Diego Carlos, one of Ezri Konza or Calum Chambers look to fill in for the bulky Brazilian. Either look capable, but I’d give a slight edge to Chambers if only for the goal against Leeds United last season. As for what Gerrard thinks, I’d lean towards Konsa, but wouldn’t be surprised to see Chambers. To go along with the Tyrone Mings and Konsa partnership, Lucas Digne will play on the left and Matty Cash on the right. The midfield will remain largely the same, with Boubacar Kamara holding in the number six position, with John McGinn and either Douglas Luiz or Jacob Ramsey slightly ahead. Given last week’s win, I think Ramsey keeps his spot. In the number 10 position, however, is where we’re more likely to see movement. It feels weird to bench Philippe Coutinho, but it was clear for everyone to see last week that Emi Buendia, at the moment, is the player who should be starting this week. Ollie Watkins and Danny Ings will partner at striker.

PREDICTION: Given how early it is in the season, it’s hard to make a well thought out judgement as opposed to a “feels right” knee-jerk prediction based largely on the “feels right” part and not much else. Without giving it any conscious or deliberate thought, my initial prediction was 3-2. A draw seems far more realistic, something along the lines of a 1-1 or maybe a 2-2. It may come back to bit me, but I’ll stick with my initial reaction - 3-2 to the Villa in an exciting match.

Aston Villa Training Session
With Ollie Watkins grabbing two assists against Everton, will the playmaker turn goalscorer against Crystal Palace?
Photo by Neville Williams/Aston Villa FC via Getty Images