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Aston Villa vs Crystal Palace – Match Preview

Aston Villa captain Micah Richards is fit despite limping off with a foot problem against Wycombe on Saturday.

Gabriel Agbonlahor is a doubt with a back problem while Jack Grealish is battling to shake off tonsillitis.

Crystal Palace’s Connor Wickham is in contention to feature after returning to training following a calf injury.

Yohan Cabaye will be assessed after suffering a knock against Southampton at the weekend but Yannick Bolasie remains sidelined with a leg problem.

Editor’s Note: The search for a first win under Remi Garde continues, many would have thought it would have arrived on Saturday away to Wycombe in The F.A. Cup but to the frustration of Manager, Players and Fans alike they were held to a draw at Adams Park. It seems as if frustrations had finally reached the boil with Micah Richards doing his best to try and placate the angry Villa fans at Full Time. Will that toxic atmosphere getting on the coach after the game be the impetus for that first win to finally be delivered.

Last time out in the League they lost a crucial relegation 6 pointer away to Sunderland and The Black Cats third goal pretty much summed up Villa’s season so far and pointed as to why and not if they’ll get relegated at the end of this season.

Aston Villa haven’t won a game in 112 days and even that one needed Extra Time against League Two Notts County in the Capital One Cup, the longer this barren run continues you have to ask yourself whether Remi Garde is the right man for the job. If he’s not the man to keep them up in the Premier League he’s certainly not the man to get them out of The Championship.

Rudi Gestede looks set to lead the line again for the visit of Crystal Palace, his late effort was unlucky to come off the top of the crossbar on Saturday had it been 6 inches lower then Micah Richards may not have had to have taken a verbal lashing from the frustrated traveling fans.

As for Crystal Palace they are firmly in the 4th Round of the Cup after beating Southampton on Saturday but they will be looking to get out of a rut in regards to their league form. Alan Pardew’s men haven’t won in 3 league outings and last time out were bested 3-0 by their cross city rivals Chelsea at Selhurst Park.

For that encounter they missed key men like Cabaye and Bolasie and although Cabaye featured in Saturday’s Cup win he looks set to miss out again through injury in what would be a major blow for Alan Pardew. Goals have been an issue for Palace as of late with them not finding the net since their win away at Stoke but Connor Wickham could return to try and alleviate this issue.

With confidence rock bottom at Villa Park they either use Saturday as a turning point or they get sucked further into the mire. Personally I think their season is done and dusted and although they will obviously pick up wins at some point I don’t think it happens against Palace Tonight. An away win for me

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