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Crystal Palace V Aston Villa at Selhurst Park : Match Preview

11 Apr 2014 12:31:00

Crystal Palace V Aston Villa at Selhurst Park : Match Preview

Crystal Palace V Aston Villa - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.


No fresh worries for Pulis

Crystal Palace manager Tony Pulis hopes to have a fully-fit squad to choose from when his side host Aston Villa on Saturday.


Dwight Gayle returned from an ankle injury to score five goals in an under-21s fixture against Brentford on Wednesday night but the young striker is not considered ready to start.


The Eagles have no other major injury concerns ahead of the contest at Selhurst Park they look to take another step closer to Barclays Premier League survival.


With both teams currently on 34 points, a victory for either side could all but seal top-flight status for another year.


But when it was put to him that Palace, who have six games left to play, may already be safe, Pulis said: "No chance.


"I don't think so, there are more twists and turns in it and we'll be desperately keen to get as many points on the board as quickly as we can."


He added: "It can change so quickly so we have to stay focused, win, lose or draw.


"It's been a good couple of weeks for us but it's important we keep our feet on the ground - we recognise how important the Villa game is going to be on Saturday so we have to maintain the momentum we've built up over the past few weeks."


Villa boss Paul Lambert believes Tony Pulis is in with a shout of being named manager of the season.


Pulis has performed a minor miracle since taking over the helm towards the end of November, when the club were rock bottom with just seven points from 12 matches.


Pulis has since steered the Eagles out of the relegation zone to a position where they are now seven points clear of the bottom three.


The last two games have seen Palace spring a shock success over Chelsea and then comfortably beat relegation rivals Cardiff 3-0 in south Wales.


Lambert said: "It wouldn't surprise me if Tony picked up something.


"He did brilliantly when he was at Stoke, and he's doing really well now at Palace.


"I get on pretty well with him, and you know what you get with Tony's sides, that it's going to be a hard game.


"He's a squad of good, honest pros who have picked up a couple of good results lately that has given them a fighting chance."


Lambert ahas a trio of key players available again for the game after fielding a depleted side for last Saturday's 2-1 home loss to Fulham.


Striker Gabby Agbonlahor and midfielders Fabian Delph and Karim El Ahmadi should all go straight back into the starting line-up.


But Villa are still reeling from the blow of losing star striker Christian Benteke for at least the next six months after he ruptured an Achilles tendon in training last week.



PA

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