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New Aston Villa head coach Steven Gerrard is expecting a tough task as he renews rivalries with Patrick Vieira when his side visit Crystal Palace on the weekend.
The Villans enjoyed success in the former Liverpool midfielder's first game in charge as they defeated Brighton and Hove Albion 2-0 last Saturday.
The visitors, however, still sit just four points above the relegation zone but much of the focus was on two recent professionals competing on Saturday.
"He's a man I have a lot of admiration and respect for, first and foremost as a player," Gerrard said.
"He was a top, top footballer and one of the toughest battles I ever faced in terms of being a player, and I expect the same to be the case from the side. I know he's a winner."
"He's changed the style. It's going to be a tough test, we have a lot of respect for the fixture."
The Eagles have been inspired so far under new manager Vieira, going unbeaten in their last seven to leave them 10th in the table following a 3-3 draw with Burnley.
The Frenchman echoed Gerrard's sentiments as he prepares for the clash at Selhurst Park.
"I think we really enjoyed playing against each other," Vieira said. "Every single game we played against Liverpool was a tough challenge because of Steven Gerrard.
"I followed him at Rangers. I saw him when we played a tournament in Lyon when he was at Rangers and I was at Nice. It was nice to see him and catch up a little bit about our journey so it will be nice to see him."
Crystal Palace - Christian Benteke
Christian Benteke's last eight Premier League goals have either put Crystal Palace ahead (4) or been an equalising goal (4). Indeed, 71% of his overall Premier League goals have altered the result at that point in the match (61/86) - among players to score at least 60 Premier League goals, only Dion Dublin (72%) has scored a higher share of this type.
Aston Villa - Danny Ings
Against no side has Aston Villa striker Danny Ings scored more Premier League goals than he has against Crystal Palace (5). However, after scoring (2) or assisting (2) four goals in his first five league appearances for the Villans, Ings has netted just once more (0 assists) in his last five games.
·When scoring at least once in Premier League games against Aston Villa, Crystal Palace's record is P11 W7 D3 L1, winning the last six such games. However, the Eagles have failed to score in five of their last eight against the Villans in the competition.
·As players, Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira and Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard met nine times in the Premier League. Gerrard didn't lose any of the first six such meetings (W3 D3), with Vieira winning two of the last three (L1).
·Aston Villa got off to a winning start under Steven Gerrard against Brighton last time out - the only manager to win both of his first two Premier League games in charge of the Villans was John Gregory in March 1998.
·Aston Villa have lost their last three Premier League away games, last losing more in a row on the road in the competition between February 2016 and September 2019 (10).
·Crystal Palace are without defeat in their last seven Premier League games (W2 D5), the longest current unbeaten run in the competition. The Eagles themselves last had a longer unbeaten run in the competition in December 2017 (8 games).
Updated November 26, 2021