Crystal Palace will look to banish the memory of their embarrassment at the hands of Liverpool when they travel to Aston Villa on Boxing Day (3pm kick-off, UK time).
Aston Villa XI: Martinez; Cash, Hause, Mings, Targett; Luiz, McGinn; Traore, Grealish, El Ghazi; Watkins.
Crystal Palace XI: Guaita; Ward, Kouyate, Dann, Van Aanholt; Schlupp, Milivojevic, McArthur, Eze; Zaha, Benteke.
Where to watch Aston Villa vs Crystal Palace on TV:
- UK: BBC One
- US: NBCSN
How to live stream Aston Villa vs Crystal Palace online:
UK: Audiences in the United Kingdom can stream Aston Villa vs Crystal Palace on the go using the BBC iPlayer app.
Aston Villa vs Crystal Palace build-up, previous line-ups & injury news:
The Eagles went 1-0 down within three minutes as Takumi Minamino opened the scoring for the reigning champions, who then ran riot at Selhurst Park in a 7-0 victory. Roy Hodgson’s men have now won just one of their last six Premier League games.
The thrashing against Liverpool has left Palace’s previously solid defensive record in tatters, with only West Brom (29) and Leeds United (30) conceding more goals than the London side’s 25.
Hodgson’s men are suffering from a poor run of form which sees them winless in their last three, causing a slide to 13th in the table, although they do remain eight points clear of the relegation zone.
They travel north to face an Aston Villa side still going steady in the top half of the table. Dean Smith’s men beat midlands rivals West Brom 3-0 last time out to go ninth and, remarkably, are just four points adrift of the Champions League places with two games in hand.
- Aston Villa (vs West Brom): Martinez; Cash, Hause, Mings, Targett; Luiz, McGinn; Traore, Grealish, El Ghazi; Watkins.
- Crystal Palace (vs Liverpool): Guaita; Clyne, Kouyate, Cahill*, Van Aanholt; Schlupp, Milivojevic, McArthur, Eze; Zaha, Ayew.
Ross Barkley is back in training for Villa and ready for action, though it’s unlikely Smith will rush him straight back into the starting XI. Ezri Konsa has also returned to training but Wesley and Trezeguet remain sidelined.
Christian Benteke returns from suspension but Martin Kelly, Wayne Hennessey, Nathan Ferguson and Mamadou Sakho are all out. Hodgson is likely to ring the changes following Palace’s humiliation against Liverpool, especially with Gary Cahill yet to recover from a hamstring injury he suffered in that defeat.
Players to watch:
Aston Villa: Anwar El Ghazi has had to remain incredibly patient for his opportunities this season, but it’s safe to say December has been a successful month so far. Having failed to score in the Premier League at all through 2020/21 prior to this month, the former Ajax man has netted three goals in his last three appearances, grabbing the winner in a 1-0 triumph over Wolves before netting a brace against local rivals West Brom last time out. With Barkley returning to fitness, El Ghazi will be keen to make himself undroppable to Smith.
Crystal Palace: As is the case with El Ghazi, December has been an incredibly eventful month for Christian Benteke. After failing to find the net since July, the Belgium international has popped up with three goals in his last two appearances, netting twice in a 5-1 thrashing of West Brom before opening the scoring in Palace’s 1-1 draw with West Ham in his last outing. However, it hasn’t been all fun and games in December, with Benteke controversially being sent off against West Ham after catching Angelo Ogbonna with an elbow, causing him to miss the 7-0 defeat to Liverpool, something the former Reds man will probably be glad of now. Now set to face another of his former clubs, this will be just the fourth time Benteke has featured against Aston Villa since leaving in 2015. The 30-year-old would love to score his first goal against them here.
Premier League 2020/21 recent form:
- Aston Villa: WDWLL
- Crystal Palace: LDDWL
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