Eagles hope to soar against struggling Villains

Crystal Palace captain Mile Jedinak. Pic: Crystal Palace FC

Crystal Palace captain Mile Jedinak. Pic: Crystal Palace FC

Crystal Palace could secure back-to-back wins tonight for the first time since April with a victory over Premier League strugglers Aston Villa.

Palace could climb as high as twelfth if they can see off a Villa side that has failed to win since September 13.

The Eagle’s top scorer Dwight Gayle may be unavailable for selection after picking up an injury at Swansea but Palace hope captain Mile Jedinak can add to his tally of five goals from his last eight games.

The home side are a team in the ascendancy, picking up four points in their last two fixtures with a draw at Swansea, backing up a memorable 3-1 win over Liverpool.

Villa are the lowest scoring team in the league, only registering seven so far this season compared to Palace’s 18. The midlands club will welcome back star-striker Christian Benteke after suspension. The Belgian has netted 34 times in 67 appearances for the claret and blues.

Palace manager Neil Warnock remained cautious. He said: “[Aston Villa] will come to Palace knowing a win will turn their season around. We have to be on our guard for that.”

The fixture brings back happy memories for Eagle’s fans, with Palace winning both encounters last season 1-0 thanks to late goals from Jason Puncheon and Gayle.

Despite being tied on 13 points with Villa, Palace fans appeared confident via online forums. Y Drdraig Goch said: “Villa will come for a draw. They do actually have some good players so I reckon 1-0 to Palace but it will be like watching paint dry.”

Others were more pragmatic. Foresthilleagle said: “I just don’t want us to get complacent. We have done that this season. We go away and we fight like lions. At home, if we are not underdogs, something can be a bit missing.”

Kick-off is at 08:00pm at Selhurst Park December 2 and will be refereed by Michael Oliver.

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