Emery must unleash “dangerous” Villa maestro vs Palace, he can make “the difference” – opinion

Aston Villa will be looking to build on their 2-0 win over Everton when they face fellow strugglers Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon.

Unai Emery’s Villans bounced back from three consecutive defeats to secure an important victory at Goodison Park, and now face a Crystal Palace side who remain without a win in 2023.

If Emery wants his side to be at their best on Saturday afternoon, the Spaniard should unleash Argentine attacker Emiliano Buendia from the start, after he came off the bench to make a big difference last time out.

Should Aston Villa start Buendia vs Palace?

The former Norwich City man was left on the bench but came on just after the hour mark against Everton, with Villa opening the scoring from the penalty spot just two minutes later.

Buendia then made the point safe thanks to a lovely piece of skill to beat Conor Coady and a composed finish in the area, for his fourth goal of the Premier League season.

This ranks him as the joint-second top scorer in Emery’s squad, following Danny Ings’ January move to West Ham, while his WhoScored average rating of 6.66/10 also ranks him as the fourth-best performer so far this term.

Buendia’s goal against Everton last weekend wasn’t the first time he has made a big impact on Merseyside, as he also scored the winner there in January 2022, while he also hit the winning goal in the 2-1 win against the Toffees earlier this season.

This earned him the praise of Ashley Cole, who lauded the Argentine in BT Sport’s coverage of the game.

He said (via TEAMtalk): “When it’s two on two it’s all about the weight of pass. He could’ve easily overhit that and sent Watkins wide, but it’s a fantastic pass. He really made the difference today.”

While there is no doubt that the 26-year-old, who journalist Andy Jones once dubbed “dangerous“, could have performed on a more consistent basis during his time with the Midlands club, he certainly possesses the ability to unlock an opposition defence with his quality in the final third and clever attacking movement.

Only Douglas Luiz has played more key passes per game in the top flight for the club this season, while he is also ranked fourth for shots per game, which emphasises just what he can offer to Emery at the top end of the pitch.


Therefore, after another big impact from the bench, Buendia deserves to start on Saturday, as the maestro could easily make the difference against an out-of-sorts Palace side with his trickery and quality on the ball.


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