(courtesy of Avillafan.com and just to remind the lads what they should be fighting for)
I suspect you know what’s coming in this one and the brutal truth is I’ve had to debate with myself if I should even bother offering my thoughts on this game.
Another truth is that I’ll be at work again and have to work out some devilishly sneaky way of getting to watch the game.
Part of me asks why I bother, but we all know how it is: We follow blindly, because we can’t resist and typical of football, you just never know.
Unfortunately, for this game, I think I do know and the sad fact is that we don’t have a hope in hell of beating the mighty Crystal palace, in my opinion.
That’s not to decry Glenn Pardew’s side though.
He’s done a brilliant job and Palace are the antithesis of Aston Villa (just goes to show the difference between an equally poorly run club as us, in Newcastle, as opposed to Palace, in my opinion).
They’re organised and look like they know what there aims are and what they’re doing.
No, it’s more that I look back and see the gulf that has existed between the clubs over the fairly long time I’ve supported the Villa and it makes me want to cry at how far we’ve fallen.
The sad fact is, that over the years, we’d generally have been expected to beat Palace, it’s as simple as that.
Squads then and again I’m not really sure why I’m bothering, as I suspect Palace’s second string would beat us, no problem.
But, Palace have Connor Wickham in contention and Yohan Cabaye is a maybe. Yannick Bolasie is definitely out, which is good for us, as I rate the player.
As for us, Gabby is doubtful, but it matters not. He has less chance of getting a game than I do.
Micah Richards, who showed some balls in speaking to the fans against Wycombe, should be ok.
Jack Grealish is still suffering the back-end of tonsillitis and Sanchez and Hutton are both still out.
So we face the team with one of, if not the best, away records in the Prem this season.
While we’ve won erm, how many, at home?
I could talk about tactics, but it’s pointless, as apparently the players don’t listen to what they’re being told anyway, according to Garde.
And even if they did, we’re simply not good enough.
How we’re over a third of the way through the window without having bought anyone in, is just beyond me.
And why have we only just held crisis talks, when they should have happened weeks ago?
Was Randy really so naive to think that we might not need strengthening?
I really suspect he was, which just sums it all up, doesn’t it?
It’s actually hard to predict this one, as instinct tells me that we’ll lose by at least 2, probably 3 and maybe even more goals.
In short, I see a major thrashing coming up sometime soon and Palace could be the team to do it, especially if the players just throw the towel in after the weekend’s events.
But if Palace take the lead, I don’t think they’ll have to work too hard to stay in front and might contain us easily, hence not having to go for the jugular.
Conversely, if we score first, we might at least make a game of it.
But I’m still going for a 2 goal home defeat.
In fact, I’m not sure the score really matters that much and it’s a funny old game, isn’t it?
I’ll just go for the home loss, as that’s nailed on, I reckon.