Crystal Palace – Villa; Our best bet for three points from the games left

It’s difficult to know what to say about this one, as the title just about sums it up for me.
We’re not going down and we’re not getting Europe, so it’s difficult to get too wound up for it.
Dean Smith isn’t going to throw the kids in, which is crazy.
Unless he has no faith in them whatsoever, which I think is the case.
If so, I know it won’t be a popular view, but it’s one I personally understand and agree with.

I’ve never been a romantic who dreams of being able to field a team of homegrown players, because the fact is that it’s never happened, even in the early days of the club.
Where did William McGregor come from, for example?
I was going to use John Devey and Harry Parkes as examples too, but they both came from Birmingham, which ruins my point (at least I’m honest!).
Whatever, I’m sure you get my point there. Most players are not homegrown, either via birth or being brought through since they were kids.

I don’t need to list players who have come through our system and gone on to be sucessful at top level, but we all know you can probably put them on one hand if you’re talking about the last 20-30 years. Even Gareth Barry didn’t arrive until he was 16.

It can happen and I know the club is striving for it, but I think it’s a while away yet and us fans are looking through rose tinted glasses, as to how good our kids really are.
Let’s face it, it’s something we’ve done for years. How many “next big thing” types have we had over the years, only for them to end up not even making the grade at a lower level?

Whatever, we won’t be seeing the kids, so we all know what the team will be.
Watkins comes back in for Davis and the only question is probably will Smith drop Barkley, who was subbed with 25 minutes to go against Everton?
My guess is no. Which is inexplicable, but that’s how it is. Smith doesn’t seem to like risking much, even though there’s practically nothing to lose, a possible top 10 place apart.
Thinking about it and in fairness, I’m forgetting that each Premier league place is worth £1.93 million and we could easily drop two places.
£4 million might seem like small beans in the scheme of things, but I wouldn’t like to miss out on it if I was an owner. It’s a top player’s wages for a season.

Will Jack get another run out? You’d expect so, but I don’t see him starting. There’s no need and Smith has said it’ll be a gentle re-introduction.

As for Palace, they’ve got little to gain except for prize money too, but the pressure is off and you can’t see them being too “up for it”.
They’ve lost the last 4 out of 5 games too, so generally aren’t very good really.
They also don’t score many goals and their goal difference is forth worst in the league.

I’ve no doubt they’ll put up a decent defence, but I’m fairly confident we’ll just have too much for them.
Villa to win, 2-0.



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  1. Hitchens60
    Hitchens60 May 15, 2021 at 10:09 pm .

    Smith has already said that JG won’t start the game.

    I’d like to think he’d come on earlier – say around 55 / 60;minutes. I don’t care who he replaces he’ll be an improvement.

    I like the suggestion from Tom (sort of supported by Bum Bum) of playing El Ghazi as a central striker with Watkins out wide left.

    It seems quite a lot of fans see Watkins being effective in a wide left role except Smith who played him there at Brentford – is that weird?

    You’d like to think we can win this one…………….

    1. Big Fat Ron
      Big Fat Ron May 15, 2021 at 11:20 pm .

      Not sure why people want Ollie pushed wide. He’s done brilliantly up front, often isolated. Consider:
      – 13 goals to date (that’s about what the likes of Deano and Dalian managed in their heyday against less organised defences)
      – at least 2 scandalous disallowed goals by VAR
      – one missed penalty
      – AND hit the woodwork 5 times!

      He should have twenty league goals comfortably by now, and that’s in his first PL season in an ‘evolving’ team. By all means, play him left of 3 strikers, but certainly not a touchline-hugging winger! Imagine Tammy centre, Ollie left and Chuck and Bert taking shifts for right, with Jack ‘floating’ causing absolute mayhem. It’ll rain goals!

      1. Bum Bum
        Bum Bum May 16, 2021 at 7:18 am .

        I don’t necessarily think Ollie should be pushed wide, but I really don’t like Smith’s policy of the lone striker. Ollie works so damned hard in that role I can see a bad injury coming on.

      2. Hitchens60
        Hitchens60 May 16, 2021 at 8:34 am .

        Fair comment.

        Maybe ‘wide left’ is overstating it; a position on the left of a more natural central striker in a front two is a better description.

        I think there’s a consensus that we should go two up front.

  2. Tom
    Tom May 16, 2021 at 9:24 am .

    Why not start Chucky today with a view for subbing him for Grealish? That way there’s no hard feelings for an early sub. You never know, he might be worth playing the full 90!
    I can’t put my finger on it yet, maybe my head still hurts to much to think after last nights Whiskey consumption. But I just feel like bringing in Tammy wouldn’t work as well as expected.
    Just look how much of a shift Watkins puts in to get his goal return. Maybe I don’t see Tammy doing the same, that’s not for a lack of talent, it’s just the way our team is set up. Ollies acceleration and stamina is what impresses me most and he even works goals from absolutely nothing.
    So to contradict my early idea of Anwar central and Ollie left, you could run the risk of removing a very key feature of our set up in Ollies ability to press and spearhead the team in following it up and his pace.
    Maybe with Anwar playing at international level and him scoring a few goals this season, we could demand a pretty decent fee and cash in? I personally would like to see Davis go on loan, Anwar as impact striker sub, Watkins as first choice and Barry step up and slot in when the games suit.

  3. Bill Pearson..
    Bill Pearson.. May 16, 2021 at 11:08 am .

    I don’t know if this will work or not? , all the goals from Villa youth team on Albion game. It will show you Barry and Chukie how good both are.

    1. Hitchens60
      Hitchens60 May 16, 2021 at 11:15 am .

      Think you have to be a member of the group.

      I’ll try and find it on Facebook

  4. Hitchens60
    Hitchens60 May 16, 2021 at 11:25 am .

    Found it Bill but couldn’t work out how to post a link.

    Lads if you search on Facebook for ‘The Villa Informer’ he’s posted the Facebook link. Barry looks the real deal.

    Four changes today – Hause in for Mings, Elmo for Cash, Ramsey for Barkley and Ollie’s back up front.

  5. badger123
    badger123 May 16, 2021 at 11:45 am .

    So four changes and still no kids?
    Says it all for me.
    Mings is injured and I totally forgot about Cash going off.

    VILLA: Martinez; Elmohamady, Konsa, Hause, Targett; Douglas Luiz, McGinn; Traore, J.Ramsey, El Ghazi; Watkins

    Subs: Steer, Taylor, Wesley, Grealish, Nakamba, Barkley, Engels, Davis, Chukwuemeka.

  6. Bill Pearson..
    Bill Pearson.. May 16, 2021 at 11:49 am .

    Three dots on top of right corner of the picture Hitch .

  7. Holte
    Holte May 16, 2021 at 11:55 am .

    Disappointed that Chuky doesn’t get a start. I know Ramsey is in for Barkley but I think Chuky has more to offer. At least with Hause playing we might get something from corners and free kicks. We never really do well away to Palace so I’m predicting 2-1 to them.

  8. badger123
    badger123 May 16, 2021 at 12:10 pm .

    Bright start, with a decent header by Hause there.
    We’ve actually out-muscled a few players too!

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