Premier League: Aston Villa Battles Crystal Palace
Neither one of these sides are exactly setting the Premier League on fire so far this season. The visitors have slightly more of an excuse with their previous manager, Ian Holloway, leaving them after guiding them to the Premiership.
Since that time, Tony Pulis has come in and made his side a little bit better at the back, the Newcastle game aside. Wins against West Ham United and Cardiff were exactly what the Crystal Palace fans were after, and with their striker Maroune Chamakh with new found form, who would bet against them improving as the season moves along?
If they are to win at Aston Villa on Thursday though, they will have to do it without Chamakh, who will be serving a suspension for the trip to the Midlands. A win for the visitors could see Pulis pull Palace out of the bottom three for the first time this season, whereas a defeat could see that initial good work somewhat erased.
The stakes are just as high in the opposite dugout too, with Aston Villa’s boss about to come under pressure if his side fails to get all three points on Thursday. Christian Benteke may not feature Thursday, but even still, Villa should have enough in the squad to be a little higher than they are right now. A win against relegation candidates Crystal Palace will be the least expected in this home tie. Anything less following the previous three defeats, with only one goal scored, and the natives may start to get a little restless. After all, it was a nervous season last time when the boss insisted his young side needed that to bond. That season was a giveaway, and this season’s questions need answering.
Jason Bardwell is a Soccer writer for Rant Sports and The Sports Column. You can follow him on Twitter @PACityboy or on Facebook.
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