Premier League match preview: Aston Villa v Crystal Palace

Emiliano Martínez during the match between Aston Villa and Brighton & Hove Albion at Villa Park on May 28, 2023 in Birmingham, United Kingdom. (Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images)
Emiliano Martínez during the match between Aston Villa and Brighton & Hove Albion at Villa Park on May 28, 2023 in Birmingham, United Kingdom. (Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images) /
Ollie Watkins will hope to register his first goals of the campaign against Crystal Palace
Ollie Watkins reacts during the match between Liverpool FC and Aston Villa at Anfield on September 03, 2023 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Matt McNulty/Getty Images) /

Villans and Eagles meet at Villa Park

The Premier League returns after the international break on Saturday as Aston Villa welcome Crystal Palace to Villa Park.

Unai Emery’s Villa have had a mixed start to the campaign as a 5-1 hammering against Newcastle United on the opening day was followed by a 4-0 win over Everton and a 3-1 success away at Burnley.

Last time out, the Claret and Blues were beaten 3-0 by Liverpool at Anfield.

Goals from Dominic Szoboszlai, a Matty Cash own goal and Mo Salah gave the Reds all three points.

Villa struggled against Liverpool’s forward line as Trent Alexander-Arnold was given too much time and space to play passes behind Villa’s high line. They will need to press Crystal Palace’s midfield much better if they are to avoid being caught out again at the weekend.

Villa are unbeaten in their last four home games against Palace, as a Joachim Andersen own goal giving them a 1-0 victory in the most recent meeting between the sides in March.

Unai Emery’s side have won their last eight matches at Villa Park and another triumph on Saturday will lift them above their visitors and into seventh.

Good Palace start

Roy Hodgson’s Palace travel to the West Midlands having claimed seven points from their opening four matches with a 1-0 defeat to Arsenal being their only loss so far.

Before the international break the Eagles triumphed 3-2 over Wolves courtesy of a brace from Odsonne Edouard and a goal from Eberechi Eze.

Eze and Edouard will hope to continue their fine start to the campaign at Villa Park on Saturday. A first away win over Villa since 2014 could lift the South London side into the top four, depending on other results.

Team news

Villa defender Diego Carlos was forced off against Liverpool with a hamstring injury and Saturday’s match may come too soon for him.

Unai Emery may revert to a back four in Carlos’ absence with Ezri Konsa partnering Pau Torres in central defense.

Alex Moreno could return to the Villa side after he was back in training during the international break, although he is more likely to be on the bench due to Lucas Digne’s early season form.

Jacob Ramsey is still recovering from the foot injury he sustained during the Under-21 European Championships.

Villa will again be without long-term absentees Tyrone Mings and Emiliano Buendia.

Nicolo Zaniolo is pushing for his first start in Villa colors after impressing in substitute appearances in recent weeks, although Leon Bailey will likely start after his goal and assist in Villa’s last home match against Everton.

Palace are sweating on defender Marc Guehi after he was forced off at half-time whilst playing for England against Scotland. Rob Holding could make his debut in Guehi’s absence.

Next. Villa's European hopes. dark

Star midfielder Michael Olise injured his thigh whilst playing for France’s Under-21’s and he’ll be assessed before the trip to Villa Park.

Likely lineups and prediction

Aston Villa (4-2-2-2)

Martinez; Cash, Konsa, Torres, Digne; Luiz, Kamara; McGinn, Bailey; Diaby, Watkins

Crystal Palace (4-2-3-1)

Johnstone; Ward, Andersen, Holding, Mitchell; Lerma, Doucoure; Ayew, Eze, Schlupp; Edouard

This is likely to be a close encounter but Villa’s imperious home form means they may edge it.

Aston Villa 2 Crystal Palace 1