Could Zaha Add 'Zest' To Crystal Palace As They Host Aston Villa?
Feast or Famine
After four points in the last two games a sense of optimism has returned to the club. Beating Liverpool and drawing at Swansea are both creditable results but beforehand there had been much wailing and gnashing of teeth. It is a sign of the short-term nature of the football world that things can suddenly look completely different in the space of a week. With the bottom half of the Premier League as congested as the M25 at rush hour a couple of results either way can catapult a club up or down the table and affect the fans’ spirits accordingly.
So Villa arrive at Selhurst on a run of nine winless matches and with the natives growing restless. Considering they started the season like a train and were second after four matches with ten points, they illustrate how things can change in a trice. They are now without the services of Roy Keane who left the club claiming he could not possibly share the duties of being assistant manager to both Villa and Ireland and be interesting to see how that affects them, as could go either way.
This season Palace have made a bit of a horlicks when playing teams that they beat last season at home. West Ham, Chelsea and Sunderland have all already won at Selhurst and that is nine points that have gone missing from the previous campaign. Villa were beaten 1-0 in April and so it is high time we reversed that trend. On Saturday James McArthur came on to replace the injured Gayle and alongside Jedinak and Ledley he was instrumental in swinging the match back in our favour so there is a strong argument to start with that powerful three man midfield. But that would mean playing a lone striker, which would reduce our threat upfront.
Another pleasing aspect of the Swansea game was that Joel Ward reverted back to his natural berth of right back as Martin Kelly went to left back and after a shaky opening both of them looked more comfortable. As for the mercurial Bolasie he will no doubt mix the sublime with the substandard whilst Puncheon’s recent poor form means he could be replaced by Zaha to add some zest. Whatever the line-up the attitude has to be spot on to keep the current momentum going.
Richard’s first book, The A-Z of Football Hates is now available online & through most bookshops.