Villa – Crystal Palace; Grealish to start? Surely 3 points today?

Or is it?
We beat Palace on their patch just a month ago, with Benteke getting the winner, so you would think this one should be in the bag really, wouldn’t you?
This is the Villa we’re talking about though and nothing’s as obvious as it should be these days, hence me not being so sure.
Palace’s wingers caused us some problems last time we met and Bolasie in particular is a player I like.
So this one’s certainly not the walkover it should be.

Team news then and we have Gabby and Richardson available again and I can’t see past both of them being selected.

So where does Grealish come into things then?
Well, quite simply, I think this is a game that he ought to start.
I know the “you can’t push him too quickly” argument and I was one of those who thought that way.
I’d still be thinking that way, but I believe we currently have such little threat, that we have no option but to try the kid as an alternative.
I know it would be putting a lot of responsibility on the lad’s shoulders, but there’s no reason he can’t be told that he might be subbed regardless, at half time or whatever. Which could mean that Gabby comes on later, where we can use his pace better in the latter stages?

No doubt it’s wishful thinking though and Lambert has said that Grealish needs to keep pushing the first team harder. A comment I could understand if the midfield and strikers were achieving anything, but given that the midfield create next to nothing and Wiemann and Gabby are mostly way off form, I found the comment utterly preposterous.

So basically, I don’t see the lineup as being anything other than what we’d expect under a manager who just seems totally reluctant to try anything different.

As for Palace, they’re without their captain Mile Jedinak, who’s off to the Asia cup with Australia.
Alan Pardew hasn’t officially joined up with the club yet, but you know the players will be thinking they’re playing for a place, so should be well up for it.

Which makes a prediction difficult.
As per usual of late, I don’t think we’ll score many. At the same time, I think Palace will probably score one.
With that said, logic tells me a 1-1 draw is on the cards.
But this is game which we really need to win and my hope is that we can prevent them scoring.
So 1-0 it is then.


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  1. Bum Bum January 1, 2015 at 12:19 pm .

    Happy New Year Guys!!!
    One nil to us…

  2. nath January 1, 2015 at 12:36 pm .

    i think we would be hard pressed to find a villa fan, who didn’t want grealish to start today. hes got to be given a chance to shine, the system we use and way we keep the ball now, this would have grealish receiving the ball, in and around the oppositions defense. he’s got a trick or two needed to glide past defenders, this is only gonna cause more defenders to be attracted to him and allow more space for other villa players.

    1. nath January 1, 2015 at 12:48 pm .

      i forgot my prediction palace will be out to revenge us in front of their new manager, regardless of what oohhahaha said before, palace are a counterattacking team much like us before the change in lamberts tactics, so villa style of play will suit palace down to the ground, speed on both flanks and up front, will be a very tough game.

      1~ 1 draw but we should be winning this game and much depends on if we have a jack grealish or joe cole in the starting line ups so if we do have one of them i think its a 2 ~ 0 win for us, nothing like edging your bets

  3. GIDDYVILLAN January 1, 2015 at 1:21 pm .

    2-1VILLA but I feel palace players will be trying to impress their eventual new boss in the stands,so let’s see what happens 3 pointer deffo imo.I’ll be surprised if grealish starts.

  4. Andrew January 1, 2015 at 2:02 pm .

    Grealish start. Hahaha giving Lambert too much credit.

    VILLA: Guzan, Hutton, Vlaar, Okore, Cissokho, Sanchez, Bacuna, Cleverley, Weimann, Agbonlahor, Benteke. Subs: Given, Clark, Cole, N’Zogbia, Lowton, Grealish, Robinson.

    PALACE: Speroni, Mariappa, Ward, Dann, Delaney, Kelly, McArthur, Ledley, Bolasie, Zaha, Puncheon. Subs: Hennessey, Hangeland, Doyle, Thomas, Gayle, Bannan, Campbell.

    HOWEVER. It’s finally happened. Bacuna starts.

    1. GarethVilla January 1, 2015 at 2:04 pm .

      Gutless from Lambert yet again.
      That hugely successful front 3 starts yet again.
      3 years of the same forward line.

      1. GIDDYVILLAN January 1, 2015 at 2:08 pm .

        What did you expect with that 4 eyed oaf in charge.

      2. Andrew January 1, 2015 at 2:17 pm .

        As per usual, just happy he didn’t find a way around playing Bacuna. Although he’ll definitely be restricted to a deep position.

        1. nath January 1, 2015 at 2:50 pm .

          not too sure thats totally correct andrew, the system allows 2 of the 3 midfielders to get forward and there still be enough cover, i think this could be bacuna break he will get more ball just hope he uses well, also hes a good shot on him in play or deadballs

          1. Andrew January 1, 2015 at 3:06 pm .

            Honestly think it only allows 1 going forward and that’s more likely Cleverley.

    2. Mr_cheese January 1, 2015 at 2:04 pm .

      Pretty much guaranteed that nzgobia will come of the bench before grealish

      1. Andrew January 1, 2015 at 2:06 pm .

        No doubts N’Zogbia and Cole will be the only subs today.

  5. Dave67 January 1, 2015 at 2:05 pm .

    Happy new year to all. I will only be happy with a win. Sick of drawing with teams around us. I can see us winning this 2 -0 Villa

  6. Mr_cheese January 1, 2015 at 2:08 pm .
    Birmingham mail have been listening to us all, maybe now that it has gone into local news, he may listen?

  7. Ifiruledtheworld January 1, 2015 at 2:28 pm .

    At least Bacuna starts.. A little bit worried about Vlaar, Palace’s front line is based around their pace and we all know he’s not exactly the quickest. Let’s hope he doesn’t get caught out.

    We mustn’t forget Palace are actually a good team, we were lucky to come away with 3 points from the last game lets hope we have the same luck this time round. The points are far from guaranteed..

  8. nath January 1, 2015 at 2:40 pm .

    no grealish and no beer somebodies drunk the beer damn, totally agree ifiruledtheworld palace will be a challenge and may even win.

    bacuna needs a big performance, if villa can win this, who knows maybe a turning point,

  9. #HELENIUS January 1, 2015 at 2:49 pm .

    Cissokho is going to get ripped a new arsehole again, much like when Palace tormented him in the reverse fixture!! A loss today I think.

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