A full set of Premier League midweek fixtures takes place this week and we kick off with a visit to Villa Park where Aston Villa will play host to Crystal Palace. Crystal Palace had a terrific cup win at Southampton last weekend and are now unbeaten in their last six away games in all competitions. Palace have slowly but surely creeped up the table and look set to contend for a place in European football next season whether that be a place in the Champions League or Europa League. Alan Pardew has done a terrific job with Palace, the summer signing of Johan Cabaye looks to be one of the signings of the year and the midfielder has been terrific for Palace this season alongisde McArthur who is having one of the best years of his career. Wilfred Zaha is finally delivering on that potential that seen him sign for Manchester United and Bolasie, Campbell, Puncheon and Sako are all providing their own moments of inspiration in what has been a very good year.
Aston Villa on the other hand currently sit eleven points from safety and at the moment look like a team destined for relegation. Remi Garde took over a team in free fall and things havent gotten any better for Villa. In nine games under Garde Villa have four draws and five losses, simply put that is relegation form unless they can turn some of those draws into wins. Garde has stated that his side must win ten of their remaining eighteen matches, that would probably be enough for safety but I dont know if I could see that happening with the current squad of players. Gestede, Ayew, Grealish, Sanchez, Bacuna and Sinclair there is some attacking talent here but they simply havent scored enough goals with just fifteen goals this season.
For Aston Villa to survive they must win their home games, there are no two ways about it they simply must. Villa Park will be full on Tuesday night and the Villa faithful will be there in their numbers supporting their side, I'm just not sure their team are good enough to beat a team of Crystal Palace's quality right now. Palace have been terrific on their travels this year and getting Crystal Palace at 7/5 tomorrow looks a gift from the bookies. I know that it is based on the fact that Villa must win but I just think they wont have the quality to get the job done here.