Aston Villa v Crystal Palace preview - More woe for Villans



The home side are seven points adrift at the foot of the Premier League table and their chances of survival in the top flight are looking increasingly bleak as they look forward to a clash with a Palace side who could lift themselves to fifth with victory at Villa Park tonight.

Things are going from bad to worse at the West Midlands club and it would be nothing short of a miracle were they to maintain their Premier League status at the end of the campaign. They have now gone some 19 games without a win since their opening day victory over newly promoted Bournemouth and although Remi Garde cannot be blamed for all of this season's disappointments, his time as manager has seen no improvement whatsoever, his nine games in charge returning just four points.

The Villans started the year with a must-win clash with fellow strugglers, only to lose 3-1 and this was followed by a dismal 1-1 draw against league two side Wycombe Wanderers in the FA Cup at the weekend.

Clearly the priority is to remain in the Premier League and whilst Garde himself isn't publicly admitting defeat at this stage of the season, the omens aren't looking good for a side which have failed to win at home since the start of the campaign. Villa are 2/1 with Ladbrokes to win tonight.

Presented with a Villa outfit who are clearly in crisis, the Eagles will be hugely confident of moving up to fifth with a win tonight. Indeed, the Palace fans are already making their preparations for a possible foray into Europe next season should results continue to impress. Indeed, just five points separate the South London side from the top four, although that isn't to say that it has been plain sailing of late.

Palace may be particularly solid at the back, however they have been struggling at the other end and with a number of key players sidelined, the Eagles have failed to find the back of the net in their last three outings, culminating in a 3-0 defeat to Chelsea last time out. Another blank this evening would make it four in a row, although we don't for a second imagine that happing at Villa Park.

To be honest, Palace are perhaps a centre forward away from being challengers for a top four position and it remains to be seen whether or not Alan Pardew addresses this problem over the coming weeks. Nevertheless, concentrating on tonight's trip to the West Midlands, Palace are undefeated in their last five away games and have returned wins in 14 of their 21 games on the road under their present manager. They boast the Premier League's best defensive record and as such, we really can't see Villa getting anything from this match, especially given their dreadful home record.

All in all, this should be a relatively comfortable win for the visitors and as such, we'll be backing Crystal Palace to win-to-nil at 29/10 with BetVictor.