It's not really in our hands anymore. Watford and West Ham have both won today and this means we're seven points from safety with a significantly worse goal difference. You might as well say we are eight points from safety and we have four games left.
Mathematically, we could stay up if we pick up nine points from the next twelve, but then we need Watford or West Ham to really struggle (fixtures below, it's possible). But West Ham and Watford play each other next and if that match is a draw and we beat Palace tomorrow, there will be renewed optimism.
If we win tomorrow and beat Everton next Thursday we have one hand over the opportunity, because West Ham and Watford play the day after the best possible result for us would be a draw between those two because it means there are two chances for us.
And I know I'm getting carried away. But what happens if we do win tomorrow? We then have a couple of days off and we have to play against Everton, a side playing for nothing. Imagine going into that game knowing that if you win, we keep the hope alive.
Right now if I could place a bet on us staying up, I think I would. I mean, it's the definition of a gamble.
So fair to say the next two games are crucial for us because after West Ham and Watford meet next Friday, West Ham have Manchester United then us on the last day of the season. Watford have Manchester City and Arsenal. Now, don't get me even more optimistic, but think about those fixtures for a moment. And yes, I know it all comes down to us winning tomorrow and next Thursday, but isn't that why we have John Terry in the dressing room?
We win tomorrow and it's back in one hand. Beat Everton next Thursday and it's like China in our hands. It's not over yet, the fat lady isn't singing, she's just warming up.
And that's it, I've now decided I'm going to the pub tomorrow and cancelling golf to watch the game, so if there is anyone in Sweden reading this, you know where I'll be if you can get yourself to Skellefteå.
But it does turn out that Christian Purslow didn't have a plan.
Match facts from the BBC
- Aston Villa have lost just one of their seven Premier League home games against Crystal Palace (W3, D3), a 1-0 defeat in December 2013.
- Palace can complete the Premier League double over Aston Villa for just the second time, also doing so in 2013-2014.
- Aston Villa have picked up just two points in their last 10 Premier League matches (D2, L8), scoring just five times in total.
- It is the current longest winless run in the competition.
- Villa have let in 65 goals in the Premier League this season, the same tally they had conceded after 34 games when they were last relegated in 2015-16.
- They have conceded two or more goals 21 times in the Premier League in 2019-20.
- Villa's last nine Premier League goals have been scored by nine different players (including a Toby Alderweireld own goal).
- They have failed to win any of their last 17 Premier League games on a Sunday (D3, L14), last doing so in a 2-1 win against Leicester City in December 2014.
- Crystal Palace are unbeaten in their last 13 Premier League matches against sides in the relegation zone (W8, D5).
- Palace are on a run of four league defeats, conceding 11 goals in total. They had won their previous four matches without conceding a single goal.
- Roy Hodgson has overseen eight career victories against Aston Villa, his highest number of wins against any Premier League team.
- The average age of Crystal Palace's starting line-up against Chelsea was 30 years and 351 days, the oldest in the competition this season. Palace have named 17 of the 20 oldest starting line-ups in 2019-20.
- Wilfried Zaha scored his first goal in 17 Premier League appearances against Chelsea. He has scored just once away from home this season.