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Benteke and Riedewald return, Jordan Ayew dropped: Crystal Palace Predicted XI vs Aston Villa

Crystal Palace are back in action this afternoon, as they travel to take on Premier League rivals Aston Villa in their penultimate game of the year on Boxing Day.

Roy Hodgson is expected to ring wholesale changes after his side suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of league leaders Liverpool at home last time out.

What's YOUR prediction for Crystal Palace vs Aston Villa?

Eagles win!

Eagles win!

It'll be a draw...

It'll be a draw...

Villa win...

Villa win...

Hodgson has confirmed that Gary Cahill has been ruled out of the clash with Villa due to injury, although he will be boosted by the return of Christian Benteke, who has served a one-match ban after being sent off during the draw with West Ham United.

Here at Football Fancast, we’ve worked on a predicted starting lineup, which sees Hodgson make five changes to the side that were routed by the Reds at Selhurst Park.

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Despite shipping seven goals against Jurgen Klopp’s side, Vicente Guiata will keep his place in goal, which means Jack Butland will be forced to settle for a place on the bench once again.

However, it’s hard to imagine Hodgson will stick with the same back four after an abysmal display by all accounts, so Joel Ward should be back at right-back today, whilst the same can be said for Tyrick Mitchell, who comes back in for Patrick van Aanholt.

Cahill’s injury has somewhat forced his hand, as Mamadou Sakho seems destined for the Selhurst Park exit, with Scott Dann expected to step up in Cahill’s enforced absence.

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How much did Palace pay Liverpool for Christian Benteke in 2016?

Jairo Riedewald has yet to start for the first team since the 1-0 defeat to Burnley back in November, but we reckon he will be back in today at the expense of James McArthur, joining club captain Luka Milivojevic in the Palace engine room.

Not that we’d like to admit it, but Palace have by and large been unable to cope without Benteke, who should be back this afternoon.

This means that Jordan Ayew will have to drop to the bench to make room for the Belgian striker, who has scored three goals in his past three games in the Premier League, via Transfermarkt.

AND in other news, Steve Parish must look to cash in on Crystal Palace defender James Tomkins in January

Article title: Benteke and Riedewald return, Jordan Ayew dropped: Crystal Palace Predicted XI vs Aston Villa

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