Aston Villa-Crystal Palace Preview
Steven Gerrard says all of his attacking options will have a part to play over a long season as his Aston Villa side prepare to make the trip to face Crystal Palace in the Premier League this weekend.
The Midlands outfit are not short of quality firepower up front this term, with Danny Ings, Philippe Coutinho and Ollie Watkins leading the line against Everton last week and Emiliano Buendia making an influential cameo off the bench to nab a goal too.
Now, the former Rangers boss says he will tailor his attack each week to match the task at hand, and that their strength in numbers will only aid their pursuit of success this season.
"It's not a case of having favourites or a best front three," he stated. "We've got a lot of attacking options and big talents who all bring different skillsets. They're all extremely important to us and they will be over the course of the season.
"For me, it's very much about making decisions about what's right for the opposition, what's right for the game plan. We want contributions from them as individuals and as a front unit. It's about horses for courses and what we think the game in front of us demands."
Opposite number Patrick Vieira meanwhile hopes his side can finally get over the line for a first win of the campaign, after taking a point from two tough opening fixtures with Arsenal and Liverpool.
"The two games we played, the performances were positive," he stated. "We still have a long way to go. When you analyse the game properly we're still making mistakes that cost us goals. On the other side we created enough chances to score more than we did.
"The performances are good, yes, but we still need to improve if we want to win football matches. If we want to win football matches we have to be more consistent."
Crystal Palace - Wilfried Zaha
The forward remains the most influential talisman in the Eagles' squad, despite varied attempts to take him away from Selhurst Park over the years. He has scored nine goals in his previous 15 Premier League games, with the last four worth seven points to his side.
Aston Villa - Danny Ings
You'd get short odds on the England international being first out of the gate and into the back of the net with a finish. Since the start of the 2019-20 campaign, no player has scored the first goal in more different Premier League games than Ings, with 20.
- Crystal Palace have only picked up four points in their last five Premier League matches against Aston Villa (W1 D1 L3), with their one win in this run coming in May 2021 (3-2 at Selhurst Park).
- Following a 2-1 away win at Crystal Palace last season, Aston Villa are looking to win consecutive away league matches against the Eagles for the first time.
- Since their return to the Premier League in 2013, nine of Crystal Palace's 10 league goals against Aston Villa have been scored in the final 20 minutes of games.
- Aston Villa have lost 16 of their last 22 away Premier League matches in London (W4 D2). They lost five of their six in the capital last season, although the exception was a 2-1 win at Crystal Palace.
- Crystal Palace's opening day defeat against Arsenal ended a six-game unbeaten Premier League run for the Eagles at Selhurst Park, a run in which they kept five consecutive clean sheets.
Updated August 19, 2022