Aston Villa pulled away from the Premier League relegation zone last weekend when overcoming Brighton 2-0, with Steven Gerrard having an immediate impact after replacing Dean Smith at Villa Park. The former Rangers boss saw his team battle hard against the Seagulls before Ollie Watkins and Tyrone Mings were able to add a finishing touch towards the end of a fairly level contest.

Now the Villans take to the road looking to build on that success, with Gerrard having enjoyed some time on the training ground with his troops. He will want to make them difficult to break down and the former Liverpool FC captain will be acutely aware that the team have lost five of their six matches on the road.

At this point in time, a draw in this encounter would be a very positive point. It would keep the Villans moving in the right direction and perhaps Gerrard will name an unchanged team for this clash, with John McGinn and Emi Buendia expected to form the mainstay of the midfield engine room and aim to nullify a high-scoring Crystal Palace team.

Patrick Vieira is another English Premier League playing legend now in the dugout and the Frenchman has been something of a surprise package at Selhurst Park, especially as Roy Hodgson was such a difficult act to follow. The former Arsenal midfielder has seen his team rack up sixteen points from their first twelve matches after a 3-3 draw at Burnley last weekend.

Interestingly, the Eagles have not yet lost on their own patch this season and they’ve only lost two of their twelve games played all term. However, four of Palace’s six home matches have ended in a draw and we think it’s worth backing this game to end all square rather than consider Vieira’s side at a relatively short price.

The win ratio is pretty low at 25% and the defensive side of things have certainly been compromised considering that Palace like to go forward in numbers. They do have Christian Benteke bang in form and the Belgian will look to build on the two goals that were notched at Turf Moor, while Conor Gallagher is one of the star performers in the Premier League this season.

There is also Wilfried Zaha who is likely to pose problems and Palace have scored seven goals in their previous three games, although they might find a claret and blue brick wall for this clash and there’s the bottom line that the Eagles just struggle to put teams away when in the ascendancy.

There is also the fact that seven of Palace’s twelve games have ended all square. A bet on the clash ending level means we cover a goalless draw and a 1-1 scoreline. There is also the possibility of a 2-2 outcome which is what happened when the Eagles clashed with Leicester City a few weeks ago.




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