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Kick off 14:15 (UK)

12 July 2020 Venue Villa Park Attendance

Kick off 14:15 (UK)

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Match Previews

Palace Preview: Eagles mustn't underestimate struggling Villa

10 July 2020

The stats do not bode well for Aston Villa ahead of their clash with Crystal Palace on Sunday (12th July).

The Villans are currently trapped in the relegation zone and playing in the league's longest active winless run, picking up just two points from their last 10 league matches.

And after a comprehensive 3-0 loss to Manchester United midweek, supporters cannot be blamed for assuming Villa are there for the taking.

But it would be risky to underestimate Dean Smith's men.

The Villans face a challenging run of fixtures over the next two weeks, with both Arsenal and Everton on the horizon and a final-day clash with relegation-threatened West Ham United bringing the season to a close.

With the Hammers game being potentially campaign-saving for both teams, Smith's charges will eye their final hurdle as a sizeable one, and both Arsenal and Everton make for imposing opposition for any team.

The Palace game, then, to Villa's eye, is perhaps the most crucial. Regardless of the Eagles' ability or recent performance against Chelsea, the Midlands club will view the upcoming clash as their best chance to collect much needed points.

Roy Hodgson's Eagles should therefore expect an energised opponent on Sunday and target another driven display at Villa Park.

Van Aanholt v Villa prev.jpg

In addition, Villa's restart has seen them draw with both Sheffield and Newcastle United and their losses against top-six Chelsea and Wolverhampton Wanderers came via a single goal.

Even 2-0 and 3-0 defeats to Liverpool and Manchester United respectively don't tell the full picture, with the Reds struggling to break Villa down until the 71st-minute and United being aided by a controversial early penalty.

But there is certainly much to balance out any necessary cautiousness the Eagles may hold pre-Villa, with Hodgson's men deserving of at least a point against Chelsea midweek and facing a side they overcame 1-0 in August.

Jordan Ayew won that game with a smart finish, and it was one the Eagles could have ended more comfortably had it not been for a late Villa surge the home side appeared willing to absorb.

McArthur v Villa prev.jpg

Did you know?

Aston Villa could become just the second team in top-flight history to win a league match on all seven days of the week in a single season, after Tottenham Hotspur in 1986/87. The Villans have won on every day between Monday-Saturday so far this term.

Conversely, Villa have failed to win any of their last 17 Premier League games on a Sunday (D3 L14), since a 2-1 win against Leicester City in December 2014. It’s the Villans’ longest winless run on a specific day of the week in Premier League history.

Tactical overview

Villa's key man is undoubtedly Jack Grealish, but the talented midfielder failed to impact the recent game against the Red Devils and has appeared to suffer from a few heavy knocks in recent matches.

Palace will be keen to keep him quiet.

Against United, Villa allowed Ole Gunnar Solskjær's men to control the game at a relaxed, steady tempo by sitting deep and attempting to hold their shape consistently. United managed to break through it and, as a less attacking team, Palace are likely to see more chances where Villa's shape loses form going forward.

Timing offensive pushes to benefit from this could be crucial.

Kelly Cahill Villa prev.jpg

Team news

Gary Cahill was forced from the pitch after just six minutes against Chelsea, with Hodgson saying: "It’s a hamstring injury... He’ll obviously be assessed and receive a scan but I’ll be very surprised if there isn’t a tear in the muscle.

"I’d be even more surprised with such a short period of time to play this season if he gets back to be a part of the four matches remaining."

Martin Kelly has returned to training and Hogson confirmed he is available for the squad against Villa, while Jeffrey Schlupp and James Tomkins remain sidelined.

Villa are without long-term absentee goalkeeper Tom Heaton, regular defender Matt Targett and potentially Bjorn Engels.

How to follow


This game will be shown live via Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Premier League. Kick-off is 14:15 BST.

Palace Audio

Palace supporters all over the world can listen to live audio commentary of every Palace fixture in the 2019/20 season for as little as £1 per game on the official club app, mobile internet or on desktop.

Fans can buy a Monthly Pass (which auto-renews) at £4.49 per month or a 24-Hour Pass (for a single matchday) for £1.49, by clicking here

Find out more about Palace Audio here

Social media

You can check out our Instagram story for all of the pre-match build-up and our official Twitter page is bringing you up-to-the-minute match updates, stunning photos and more.

Our club website,, is the place to go for team news on the dot, an instant report and all the post-match votes.

The official app

The official Palace app’s match centre is the place to be for everything you need during the Villa clash. With live stats and alerts, a running match commentary feed and lineups the moment they’re released as well as all an instant match report and post-match reaction from Palace TV, there’s no need to leave the app to follow the Eagles’ efforts.

Download our app for free here!

International fans

For fans following from abroad, have a look at our Worldwide TV Listings here.

READ NEXT: What Palace can learn from Villa's last game

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Match Reports

Report: Villa 2-0 Palace

12 July 2020

Crystal Palace's penultimate away game of the season saw the Eagles leave Villa Park on the wrong side of a Trézéguet brace, after VAR had ruled out an early Mamadou Sakho opener.

In summary:

  • Game overshadowed by racist abuse suffered by Wilfried Zaha this morning
  • Aston Villa forced into late change before kick-off, with Kortney Hause picking up an injury in the warm-up; Ahmed Elmohamady comes in and Ezri Konsa shifts to centre-back
  • Mamadou Sakho header ruled out for controversial handball decision via VAR
  • Trézéguet puts Villa 1-0 up in injury time
  • HT: 1-0
  • VAR overturns a penalty award to Villa after Patrick van Aanholt was deemed to have fouled Jack Grealish
  • Trézéguet pokes home Villa’s second
  • FT: 2-0
  • Christian Benteke sent-off after the full-time whistle

Zaha against Aston Villa.jpg

With Aston Villa’s status as a Premier League club in serious jeopardy after wins for Watford and West Ham United yesterday, it was no surprise that the first moment of real attacking impetus went to Dean Smith’s side.

After winning the ball in the middle, Conor Hourihane tapped the ball forward to Jack Grealish, with the attacking-midfielder able to drive forward at Palace’s defence, eating up the ground in front of him that the Eagles’ rear guard were retreating from.

Hourihane continued his run without the ball and overlapped to Grealish’s left, with the England Under-21 international returning the favour from seconds earlier and passing the ball to his onrushing teammate.

With an experienced centre-back partnership in Sakho and Scott Dann forcing Grealish to relieve himself of possession, it was then Joel Ward who demonstrated his knowledge of the game with a a smart and important block of Hourihane’s goal-bound effort.

The Villains may well have had the first attacking moment of the game but it was Roy Hodgson’s side who had the ball in the net first. However, Sakho’s well-taken shoulder was deemed to be handball by the Video Assistant Referee (VAR).

Mamadou Sakho disallowed goal v Villa.jpg

Irked by the sense of injustice to his team, Christian Benteke tried to take matters into his own hands and nearly added a fine solo goal to his Palace collection; the striker fought off – and then pushed between – Villa’s two right-sided defenders. However, Neil Taylor managed to get a slight touch which handed the advantage to the fast-approaching Pepe Reina to clear out for a throw.

Benteke driving run Aston Villa.jpg

The final third of the first ’45 shifted in Villa’s favour and Mbwana Samatta really should’ve, at the very least, tested Vicente Guaita after a perfectly-placed Ahmed Elmohamady cross landed on the striker’s head – despite exceptional technique and power generated, the header went over Palace’s No.31’s goal.

Grealish was next to get on the end of a well-worked Villa move, one that he started when he played John McGinn into plenty of space in central midfield. Eventually, it was another impressive cross from Elmohamady to find Grealish at the back post. However, the volley from Grealish, although controlled, it lacked pace and power and Guaita got down well to push the ball round for a corner.

The Eagles almost punctured the Villains' dominance in the closing stages of the first-half, with former Aston Villa striker Benteke having a double chance but the forward’s two snap-shots were denied by Reina.

In the first minute of injury time, Villa took the lead. Unfortunately, an excellent defensive header from Ward from a dangerous set-piece from the hosts landed at the feet of Trézéguet who took his chance well from close-range.

First goal Trézéguet.jpg

Right after the referee’s whistle to kick start the second-half, VAR levelled up proceedings, this time ruling in favour of Hodgson’s charges and overturning a penalty award that the referee had initially adjudged Van Aanholt to have fouled Grealish.

On 58 minutes, Trézéguet prodded Aston Villa into a two-goal lead; a deeply unfair moment for Guaita, who had just saved superbly from a Hourihane free-kick and the resulting corner saw the Palace ‘keeper pull-off another exceptional stop from Konsa after shuffling along his line well.

Second goal Trézéguet .jpg

It was turning into a busy afternoon for the Palace shot-stopper, pulling off another excellent save, this time from Hourihane’s arrowed strike from the edge of the area.

With Guaita’s goal under siege, Hodgson took off Jordan Ayew and Cheikhou Kouyaté and replaced the duo with Jaïro Riedewald and Andros Townsend with Palace tweaking personnel in search of that deficit-halving goal.

Hodgson Townsend Riedewald sub v Aston Villa.jpg

Next to join proceedings was Max Meyer, replacing captain Luka Milivojević for the final 15 minutes, with Hodgson front-loading his Eagles XI.

That shift in the midfield almost resulted in an instant reward for Hodgson with a trademark Van Aanholt dart into the opposition box, but Reina predicted the left-back’s attempt to slot the ball past him and inside the near post.

Then it was substitute Townsend looking to find that morale-boosting first goal of the afternoon for the south Londoners, with the winger recycling the ball well at the back post to dink in a tempting cross. However, Benteke wasn’t best-placed to connect as he would’ve wanted to.

Andros Townsend v Aston Villa.jpg

Despite the loss, with three games left, Roy Hodgson's side can still record the Eagles' highest Premier League points total. However, the south Londoners will have to do it without Benteke after the striker was sent-off after the full-time whistle.

Palace: Guaita, Van Aanholt, Sakho, Dann, Ward, McArthur (McCarthy 45), Milivojević [Meyer 74], Kouyaté [Riedewald], Zaha, Ayew [Townsend 65], Benteke.

Subs not used: Hennessey, Kelly, Woods, Mitchell, Pierrick.

Aston Villa: Reina, Konsa, Mings, Taylor (Targett 37), Hourihane [Nakamba 80], Luiz, McGinn, Trézéguet [El Ghazi 88], Grealish, Samatta [Davis 80].

Subs not used: Lansbury, Jota, Guilbert, Nyland, Steer.

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