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Premier League

  • 12 April 2014
  • • 15:07
  • • Selhurst Park, London
  • Referee: H. Webb
  • • Attendance: 25564
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Ladbrokes PaddyPower WilliamHill Tipico
Crystal Palace 2.15 2.15 2.15 2.10
Draw 3.20 3.25 3.30 3.20
Aston Villa 3.75 3.60 3.40 3.80
Crystal Palace - Aston Villa Preview: In-form Eagles aiming for third win in a row

Crystal Palace - Aston Villa Preview: In-form Eagles aiming for third win in a row

The hosts are looking to make it a hat-trick of Premier League victories and face Paul Lambert's side who have won just one of their last eight away matches

Two sides heading in opposite directions meet in the Premier League on Saturday as Crystal Palace welcome Aston Villa to Selhurst Park.

The clubs head into the game locked together in the table on 34 points, but they have experienced starkly contrasting fortunes in recent weeks.

Palace have enjoyed back-to-back wins, seeing off title contenders Chelsea 1-0 at home before thumping relegation rivals Cardiff City 3-0 in Wales last weekend.

Those successes have lifted Tony Pulis' side to 14th in the table, seven points clear of the bottom three and with some breathing space ahead of the run-in.

After a difficult start to life back in the Premier League under Ian Holloway, in which Palace lost seven of their opening eight matches, the club opted for a change of manager, with Pulis subsequently taking up the reins.

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33/1 Crystal Palace are 33/1 to finish in the top 10 of the Premier League with Paddy Power

The former Stoke City boss has since overseen a remarkable upturn in form, with Palace winning eight of his 20 league games in charge to pull his side away from danger.

That improvement has been based mainly on a strong home record, with six of those eight league victories under Pulis coming at Selhurst Park, and on Thursday he called on his charges to carry that positivity into this weekend's game.

"It's been a good couple of weeks for us," he said. "It's important we keep our feet on the ground and realise how difficult the Villa game is going to be on Saturday, then every game from there on in.

"So we have to maintain the momentum we've built up over the past few weeks."

In contrast to Palace, Villa head into the game on the back of three consecutive defeats, including a disappointing 2-1 reverse at home to struggling Fulham last time out.

Consecutive wins over Norwich City and Chelsea last month looked to have put Paul Lambert's men safe.

However, defeat to Palace on Saturday, combined with other results going against them, would leave them looking nervously over their shoulder going into the final weeks of the season.

They will not take much heart from their recent away league record either, with just one win in their last eight matches on the road, while the reverse fixture on Boxing Day ended 1-0 to Palace courtesy of Dwight Gayle's spectacular stoppage-time strike. 

Despite the striker scoring five in a reserve fixture in midweek, Pulis said Gayle would not start on Saturday, although he is hopeful to be able to choose from a fully fit squad.

Villa will be without top scorer Christian Benteke after he tore his Achilles last week, while Karim El Ahmadi (thigh), Gabriel Agbonlahor (illness) and Fabian Delph (calf) could feature after returning to training this week.

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Last Five Matches
Odds
Returns: Crystal Palace £21.50 PaddyPower Sign up to Paddy Power for £250 in free bets
Returns: Draw £33.00 WilliamHill William Hill: £25 in free bets
Returns: Aston Villa £36.00 PaddyPower Sign up to Paddy Power for £250 in free bets
Team News
Available Squads
1Julian SperoniGoalkeeper
2Joel WardDefender
3Adrian MariappaDefender
6Scott DannDefender
27Damien DelaneyDefender
7Yannick BolasieMidfielder
8Kagisho DikgacoiMidfielder
13Jason PuncheonMidfielder
15Mile JedinakMidfielder
28Joe LedleyMidfielder
30Cameron JeromeStriker
26Wayne HennesseyGoalkeeper
19Danny GabbidonDefender
4Jonathan ParrStriker
51Thomas InceStriker
16Dwight GayleStriker
17Glenn MurrayStriker
29Marouane ChamakhStriker
1Bradley GuzanGoalkeeper
2Nathan BakerDefender
4Ron VlaarDefender
6Ciaran ClarkDefender
23Ryan BertrandDefender
34Matthew LowtonDefender
8Karim El AhmadiMidfielder
15Ashley WestwoodMidfielder
16Fabian DelphMidfielder
11Gabriel AgbonlahorStriker
29Grant HoltStriker
13Jed SteerGoalkeeper
3Joseph BennettDefender
12Marc AlbrightonMidfielder
18Yacouba SyllaMidfielder
24Alexandar TonevMidfielder
10Andreas WeimannStriker
21Jordan Nathaniel BoweryStriker

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