Chelsea vs Leeds – Analysis, Prediction, Team News

Saturday 4th March 2023
15:00 GMT
Villa Park

As part of our weekend Premier League predictions, we look at Crystal Palace’s trip to Villa Park. Crystal Palace are yet to win in 2023 – more of the same here? Read on with our Aston Villa vs Crystal Palace prediction.

Aston Villa


2-0 (A)


4-2 (H)

Man City

3-1 (A)


4-2 (H)


1-0 (A)

Crystal Palace


0-0 (H)


1-1 (A)


1-1 (H)

Man Utd

2-1 (A)


0-0 (H)

Aston Villa vs Crystal Palace Match Preview

Aston Villa come into this game in poor form over the last four league games. They sit 17th in the form table over this period, with their only win being in the previous game away at Everton. Before that, there were defeats at the Etihad against Man City (3-1) and two 4-2 losses at Villa Park (against Leicester and Arsenal), which followed an identical pattern; Villa took the lead twice only to be pegged back both times and ultimately lose.

Villa’s home form could have been better this season, with only five wins from twelve games. Therefore, they know they must start getting more points on the board at Villa Park. The club sits in 11th place in the league table, with 31 points from 24 games. They will undoubtedly not be relegated, but it is still disappointing for a team with talented players. Coach Unai Emery will be pleased with the Everton result but will know his team must improve their performance levels as stiffer tests will come.

Palace travel to Birmingham in a poor run of form. Indeed, they are the only team of the twenty not to register a league victory in 2023. In this run, which stretches back to 4 January, Palace have drawn five, lost three, and sit bottom of the form table with Bournemouth. They had played well before that, but their progress under coach Patrick Vieira appears to have stalled. Talisman Wilfried Zaha being injured recently will not have helped matters.

Six of Palace’s previous seven league games have seen fewer than three goals scored. Furthermore, Villa have only scored more than twice on one occasion in their last six games against Palace in all competitions. Therefore, this might be a relatively low-scoring game. Palace have also not won at Villa Park in their five previous visits in all competitions. Thus, the omens could be better for the London side. With 27 points after 24 games, they need to win a few more to guarantee safety. Palace have only won twice away from home this season, so they would likely be satisfied with a point here despite their winless run.

Team News

Injuries and Suspensions

Aston Villa:

Might Not Play: Steer, Olsen, Carlos, Coutinho

Will Not Play:

Crystal Palace:

Might Not Play: Ferguson, Zaha

Will Not Play: Johnstone

Aston Villa vs Crystal Palace Lineups (Predicted)

Aston Villa (4-4-2 / 4-4-1-1): Martinez; Digne, Mings, Konsa, Cash; Buendia, Luiz, Kamara, McGinn; Watkins, Bailey

Crystal Palace (4-3-3): Guaita; Mitchell, Guehi, Andersen, Clyne; Lokonga, Doucoure, Schlupp; Zaha, Mateta, Olise

Aston Villa vs Crystal Palace Lineup
Crystal Palace vs Aston Villa Lineup

Aston Villa vs Crystal Palace Analysis

Midfield Areas And The Game’s Pattern

Midfield might be crucial in this game, as it could allow both sides to soak up pressure and spring counter-attacks. Neither team is a possession side, with Villa averaging 48 per cent of the ball this season and Palace 44 per cent. In addition, Villa have completed almost 9,000 passes and Palace just over 8,000. These stats are significantly below the more dominant sides in the league in these metrics. Hence, while we expect Villa to have more of the ball as the onus to probe is on them as the better side, and at home, we don’t expect them to have a massive share of possession as it simply is not their game.

Villa are a more direct team which hurts teams with pace, whereas Palace have been defending and using their speed on the counter too. Therefore, this could be a game where success is found by the team which can win the ball in defensive or midfield areas and quickly transition with either the ball-carrying abilities of their midfielders and forwards or quick passes up the channels. We are anticipating a scrappy game that Villa have more control over but not to any significant degree. This scenario will suit Palace as they are more comfortable playing as a counter-attacking side.

Luiz and Kamara must try to get on the ball and play passes in midfield. They must be wary of losing the ball to Lokonga and Doucoure. If the Villa midfielders can get on the ball, they can build play and release the forward players. However, as stated, neither team is comfortable building play and breaking down a low block or deep defences. We anticipate Palace will settle into a defensive shape and challenge Villa to break them down.

How Both Teams Can Attack And Create

There are ways Villa can hurt Palace. We have already mentioned the balls into the channels or the dribbling ability of their wingers and midfielders. Watkins and Bailey are fast players who can dribble and take men on. Therefore, if the likes of McGinn, Ramsey, or Buendia (or Digne and Cash from full-back) can find them with passes between the Palace centre-backs and full-backs or with cute little balls around the corner, the two forwards can attack the Palace defenders and try to get shots on target.

Buendia (if he starts) could be crucial in this game, as he has the creativity and imagination to open tight defences and locked doors. With Coutinho likely missing, his ingenuity becomes vital as a starter or from the bench against tired legs. Further creativity can come from Digne’s crossing ability and set piece delivery or Cash’s raids forward from right-back.

Palace, as said, will look to sit deep and spring into counter-attacks. There are various ways they could set up, but with Zaha likely fit again, we see them playing 4-3-3 with the Ivorian and the tricky Olise on either side and the powerful Mateta as the focal point. That will allow the two wide players to be outlets and carry the ball forward to relieve any Villa pressure.

Palace will likely reinforce the midfield as they try to make themselves hard to break down. Doing this will also aid them in winning the ball when they can pounce in midfield. They can then quickly feed the wingers when Villa are committed forward, and their shape is disrupted. The two full-backs can also advance when possible and provide overloads. Soaking up the pressure and countering – the basics – is how Palace could end their winless streak.

Our Prediction

This game is a challenging one to predict. Indeed, both teams have been struggling for form recently, with Palace’s already-mentioned winless run in 2023 and Villa losing three of their previous four games. The tactical set-up perhaps suits Palace more as they can sit back and counter away from home. However, this situation has not benefited them, as they have only won two away games all season. Likewise, Villa’s struggles at home indicate that they can’t relinquish the initiative as much and counter in front of their own supporters and that they have already played some strong teams at Villa Park.

This match could end in a low-scoring draw as both teams struggle for confidence. If it is level late in the game, Palace will likely settle for the stalemate, making it even harder for Villa to score a winner. However, we are going to show some faith in Villa. They have scored 13 goals in the last eight, and Palace have only made the score sheet four times. Villa have better players and a superior manager, more attacking threat, and are at home. While these things don’t guarantee a victory in a high-variance sport like football, Villa can do enough to get a narrow win against a struggling side.

Aston Villa 2-1 Crystal Palace

Aston Villa vs Crystal Palace Betting Tip – Aston Villa Odds:


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