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Aston Villa: Ashley Young backed to start against Crystal Palace

Aston Villa: Ashley Young backed to start against Crystal Palace -Aston Villa News

Ashley Young will replace Emiliano Buendia in Aston Villa’s starting line-up for their Premier League clash with Crystal Palace, The Birmingham Mail‘s Ashley Preece has predicted.

The lowdown

Villa travel to south London on Saturday looking to make it back-to-back wins at the start of Steven Gerrard’s reign. Young came off the bench to set up an 84-minute Ollie Watkins goal which broke the deadlock in the 2-0 win over Brighton last weekend.

The 36-year-old, who joined from Inter Milan on a free transfer in the summer, has only made one league start since August.

The Athletic’s Gregg Evans wrote earlier this week that Gerrard had been so impressed by Young in training that he strongly considered starting him in the number 10 position against the Seagulls. The new manager said that the £50,000-per-week veteran had been ‘absolutely outstanding since we walked through the door’.

The latest

Off the back of his ‘strong cameo’ against Brighton, Preece reckons that Gerrard will select Young in the line-up. That would mean making the ‘ruthless call’ to drop Buendia to the substitutes’ bench when he’s ‘desperately trying to spark into some kind of form’.

Elsewhere, Preece thinks that Aston Villa will be unchanged. Douglas Luiz is back fit again, but ‘it’d be hard to see’ Marvelous Nakamba, John McGinn or Jacob Ramsey making way.

The verdict

Would it be harsh to drop Buendia? The statistics suggest that he didn’t make a particularly glowing first impression on Gerrard.

He managed only one shot (which was blocked) against Brighton and he didn’t produce any key passes. He won only two of his six ground duels and all of his crosses were inaccurate (via SofaScore).

As ex-Villan Gabriel Agbonlahor has said, perhaps it’s best for the ‘struggling’ Argentine to sit this one out and be given the incentive to ‘win his place back’.

In other news, many Villa fans react to this piece of pre-Palace news.


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Article title: Aston Villa: Ashley Young backed to start against Crystal Palace

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