At Crystal Palace, options, match facts and a video

Sorry this is a little late in the day. I blame the bottle of red that I opened when I got back last night that I didn't need to open. But it's all good and the day has started sunny.

And I for one have a good feeling about today. But you all know that I usually wake with a good feeling when there is a real chance that we can win. And despite Palace beating Manchester United last time out, I think a few teams will beat Manchester United this season while they have Ole Gunnar Solskjær.

And Palace are one of the sides we should be going to and playing to win. They're not Spurs and they should end up close to where we are expected to end up.

And I do feel like things are going to get better under Dean Smith. We won last time out against Everton and spanked Crewe and a fair degree of what is required at this level is momentum.

So, I go into this match feeling optimistic. I'm not going to say confident because even with a little momentum, there are other factors. Taking risks is one and we didn't do that at Spurs, but we have to do it today. And in football parlance, that might not be called risks, but you know what I mean.

And because of the spanking at Crewe, the manager has options and those options will be raring to go and wanting to make an impact. Me, I'll be back when I've sobered up and had a bacon sandwich. That's how raring I am today.

Match facts from the BBC


  • Aston Villa won 1-0 at home when the sides last met in January 2016 - one of just three Villa Premier League wins during the 2015-16 season.
  • Villa have beaten Palace twice in 12 top-flight away fixtures (D4, L6) and scored only four times.
  • Just seven goals have been scored in the last six league meetings, including five games with one goal or fewer.

Crystal Palace

  • Crystal Palace have accrued 30 points since the start of February - only Manchester City (49) and Liverpool (45) have earned more over that period.
  • Palace have won only two of their last eight matches at Selhurst Park (D3, L3).
  • They have claimed just 221 of their 433 Premier League points at home (51%) - the competition's lowest ratio.
  • Roy Hodgson has won more Premier League games versus Villa than he has against any other side (W7, D2, L2).
  • Since the start of last season, Wilfried Zaha has scored one goal in 16 home league appearances.
  • Palace forward Jordan Ayew scored seven goals in 30 Premier League games for Aston Villa in the 2015-16 campaign.

Aston Villa

  • Victory for Aston Villa last weekend ended a run of 15 Premier League games without a win (D1, L14).
  • They have lost their past eight Premier League away games and are without a win in 19 top-flight matches on the road (D3, L16).
  • Villa's four matches in league and cup this term have produced 16 goals - four per match on average.
  • They have been caught offside 13 times - a joint-league high with Arsenal.
  • Jota has been involved in 21 goals in 32 league appearances under manager Dean Smith at either Brentford or Aston Villa (12 goals and nine assists).
  • Tom Heaton is one shy of his 100th Premier League appearance.

Press conference