This Premier League Boxing Day fixture sees Aston Villa welcome Crystal Palace to Villa Park, in a game being screened live on terrestrial TV. Which of these teams will rise to the occasion in this rare coup for the BBC?
Where and when: Villa Park – 26 December, kick-off 15:00
Where you can see Aston Villa vs. Crystal Palace: BBC
Last time: Trezeguet opened the scoring for Villa deep into first-half injury time when the teams met at Villa Park in July, before adding another just before the hour mark to hand his team a valuable 2-0 victory.
Aston Villa v Crystal Palace Predictions and Preview
Three points for either Aston Villa or Crystal Palace would be highly valuable again here, and not just for the spreading of some Christmas cheer to either set of absent supporters. Both sides have their sights set on climbing the congested Premier League table, with Villa in particular enjoying a wonderful start to the season.
Dean Smith’s side survived immediate relegation back down to the Championship by the skin of their teeth last term. This time round, they lie ninth at Christmas, but only four points behind fourth-placed Everton. What’s more, Villa have two games in hand on almost all of the teams above them.
The hosts come into this Aston Villa v Crystal Palace preview unbeaten in their last three games, recording two big Midlands derby victories over Wolves and West Brom during that run. The Villans have won seven of their opening 12 matches, which is two more than Palace, with the away team here having played 14 times.
|Our Eurotips||Odds||Free bets||Bookie|
Aston Villa to win to nil
Aston Villa to win 3-0
Watkins to score first
Nevertheless, it’s been a decent start to the campaign for Roy Hodgson’s side. The Eagles have an eight-point buffer to the bottom three, and should find themselves on the fringes of the top half if they win this game.
However, the Eagles desperately need to put their most recent game behind them, following their 7-0 thrashing on home soil at the hands of Liverpool. The champions have the capacity to do that to almost every team in the league, which is the message Hodgson must drum into his players ahead of this one.
If Palace can get back to the sort of performances that saw them beat West Brom 5-1 and draw with title hopefuls Tottenham earlier this month, they’ll be good value for the win at 3/1. In-form Villa are the 19/20 favourites with William Hill though, while you can back the draw in this game at 3/1.
One to watch for Aston Villa: Bertrand Traore looks like he’s found his feet in the Premier League, with the Burkina Faso international capping his strong form with his first league goal for Villa in last weekend’s 3-0 victory over West Brom. He is 17/2 to get his second with the opener here.
One to watch for Crystal Palace: Wilfried Zaha has already scored seven Premier League goals this season. One more in these Aston Villa v Crystal Palace predictions would double his tally from last term, and he is 7/1 to do so by breaking the deadlock.
Long shot: Aston Villa have kept three successive clean sheets coming into this game. The Villans won their last match 3-0 and are 17/1 to repeat that scoreline here. With top scorer Ollie Watkins netting first, those odds rise to a mouthwatering 99/1.