Aston Villa are in for a tough encounter against Crystal Palace on Tuesday night at Villa Park.
The home side are currently bottom of the Premier League, having managed a measly eight points all season, while the visiting side are flying high in seventh place.
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Crystal Palace will be extra motivated by the fact that an away win could see them climb the table and go as high as fifth place depending on other results.
Aston Villa are seen by many people as definitely relegated and it will be interesting to see if they start to play with the Championship in mind at some point.
The squad is in desperate need of strengthening but Remi Garde is finding things difficult, telling ESPN:
In the long-term, for sure. But during this transfer window as I have said, January is not the best time to do things because it is very difficult for many reasons.
“This is not the end of the transfer window and I am working on that. Attracting players in the situation we are in is not an easy task because players are not only attracted by money as many people think.
However, at this stage of the season, the fans will demand to see some fight. Pulling off an unlikely point or three against Crystal Palace would be very meaningful for Villa.
Aston Villa’s woeful form reached a new low in their previous game. The Premier League side managed a 1-1 draw away at Wycombe which predictably drew a reaction from the travelling faithful.
I can understand the fans. They travel a long way and we have to accept this criticism,” said Garde.
“We are not winning this kind of game and this is what we deserve.”
The team were filmed being abused by their own fans as they got back on the team coach. Villa have also suffered heavy recent Premier League losses against relatively unimpressive sides such as Norwich and Sunderland.
Villa are set to benefit from the confirmed return of skipper Micah Richards who was forced off through injury in the recent cup match.
Alan Hutton and Carlos Sanchez will be unavailable due to hamstring complaints while Traore stays out of contention due to a foot injury.
Crystal Palace have been one of the surprise stories of the Premier League so far this season, and they will look to advance up the table with a likely away win at Villa.
The only recent loss for Palace was the 3-0 defeat to Chelsea. Other than that, Palace have looked sharp, beating Southampton and Stoke.
Yohan Cabaye is set to be available for selection for Crystal Palace, as are Connor Wickham and Bakary Sako.
The visitors will have to make do without the services of Dwight Gayle and Yannick Bolasie who will both be unavailable.
Even a point would be a massive statement from Aston Villa, but it looks unlikely that the home side will manage even that.
Palace will look to pick up all three points here and gain ground on the top four.
Another Villa loss will increase the anger from their ever increasingly disullisioned fan base and force them to start planning ahead for Championship football.