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Aston Villa: Steven Gerrard should unleash Emiliano Buendia

Aston Villa have had a mixed start in the Premier League this season, losing their opening match to Bournemouth before beating Everton 2-1.

The club have recruited heavily over the summer, which naturally means bigger expectations, and Steven Gerrard will be aiming for a top-half finish this season.

The win at home to Everton will hopefully be the catalyst for the Villans to kick on, and as they face 16th-placed Crystal Palace this afternoon, they will feel there is a good chance of back-to-back wins.

Brazilian playmaker Philippe Coutinho limped off against the Toffees after another quiet performance and he was replaced by Emiliano Buendia, who scored what turned out to be the winner, and Gerrard should consider starting the Argentine against Palace today.

Buendia’s performance will surely give the manager some food for thought ahead of the clash at Selhurst Park.

During Coutinho’s time on the pitch last week, he earned a SofaScore rating of 6.4 as he was booked, won only one duel and didn’t even attempt a dribble in a subdued performance.

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The Argentine’s introduction was the spark that Villa needed in order to kill off the game and he duly delivered. His 7.8 SofaScore rating was the second best on the pitch at 7.8, despite only playing the final third of the match.

He scored once, made three key passes and had an 84% pass success rate, proving his worth to the team as they gained a vital three points.

Should Buendia start against Palace?





This performance should go a long way to convincing Gerrard that the 25-year-old should be in from the start against Palace, and Gregg Evans would seem to agree, tweeting: “Emi Buendia is a little bit more exciting than Philippe Coutinho right now. He seems to want it more + he’s producing more when he’s on the pitch. Deserves a start for #AVFC at #CPFC

Gerrard described Buendia as a player who has “amazing talent” and it makes sense for the Argentine, who joined Villa last summer in a deal reaching £38m, to be given the opportunity to weave his magic against the Eagles from the first whistle today rather than having to be a game-changer off the bench again.

Article title: Aston Villa: Steven Gerrard should unleash Emiliano Buendia

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