Crystal Palace vs Aston Villa
Crystal Palace’s last outing in the league saw them win in emphatic fashion with a 0-3 victory away to Cardiff thanks to a brace from Jason Puncheon and a Joe Ledley strike.
In Mile Jedinak and Joel Ward, Crystal Palace have two of the most dominant defensive forces in the league this season. The pair have won a superb combined total 204 tackles this term and rank 3rd and 4th respectively on the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index (Jedinak – 104; Ward – 100).
In addition it’s worth noting that Jedinak has been exceptional for the Eagles all over the park this season, leading by example during what has been an up and down campaign. He leads the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for interceptions with 115 and is the only player in the league to have moved into triple figures for both this category and clearances with 113.
Jason Puncheon’s brace last weekend took his goal-tally for this season to five, and he will likely once again be one of Palace’s main attacking threats against Villa. He now sits on a squad-high 47 shots on goal, 53% of which have been on target. Puncheon is 3/1 with 888sport.com to score at any time this weekend.
A late goal from Fulham saw Aston Villa go down 1-2 despite Grant Holt’s second-half goal. The result leaves Villa not quite out of trouble and Paul Lambert will be keen to see his side pick up a vital three points against a side level with them in the table.
The loss of Christian Benteke to a ruptured Achilles means that even more of the goal-scoring burden will fall on the pairing of Andreas Weimann and Gabriel Agbonlahor. Between them they have combined for 69 attempts on goal and six goals and Paul Lambert will no doubt be looking for a way for them to combine effectively for the remainder of the season.
The all-round play of Fabian Delph has been one of the major pluses for Villa this season, the dynamic midfielder being effective both with and without the ball. He’s racked up an impressive 630 completed passes in the opponent’s half to complement his 186 defensive contributions (blocks, clearances, interceptions, tackles won) according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
Captain Ron Vlaar has continued to post some excellent statistics this season. The imposing centre-half is currently the only player in the league with a tackle success rate of 81% or higher, after more than 55 attempted tackles, to have committed fewer then 10 fouls (9).