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Preview: Crystal Palace vs. Manchester City - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Premier League clash between Crystal Palace and Manchester City, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Manchester City could be celebrating Premier League title glory by the close of play this weekend, assuming they can get the better of Crystal Palace in Saturday lunchtime's kickoff.

The hosts will have had five days to recover from their 2-1 defeat at the hands of Leicester City on Monday night, while Man City overcame Paris Saint-Germain by the same scoreline in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final in midweek.


Match preview

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson pictured on March 7, 2021© Reuters

Crystal Palace looked capable of springing a surprise at the home of top-four contenders Leicester last time out, as a 12th-minute Wilfried Zaha goal propelled Roy Hodgson's men into the ascendancy after a swift counter-attack.

Despite boasting a 1-0 lead as the half-time whistle blew, Palace soon fell victim to two almost identical goals from Timothy Castagne and Kelechi Iheanacho, as both men produced left-footed thunderbolts to complete the Foxes comeback and leave Palace's top-10 hopes in jeopardy.

Even though the 13th-placed Eagles are not mathematically safe just yet, they are 11 clear of the dropzone with a game in hand on the bottom three, so their Premier League status is all but assured and Hodgson will simply want his players to give a good account of themselves before the season concludes.

However, Palace can boast just one win from their last seven Premier League matches, and having faced Everton, Chelsea and Leicester in recent weeks, the fixtures do not get any easier after Man City pay a visit, as Arsenal and Liverpool lie in wait in the final two weekends of the campaign.

While the Eagles have managed to keep three clean sheets in their last four home matches, only West Bromwich Albion (33) and Newcastle United (27) have conceded more goals on familiar territory than Palace (25) this season, so City can certainly aspire to replicate Liverpool's seven-goal showing as they attempt to prise the title off the Reds.

Manchester City's Riyad Mahrez celebrates scoring against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League on April 28, 2021© Reuters

In what was truly a game of two halves at the Parc des Princes, Mauricio Pochettino was the one sitting more comfortably in the dugout as his PSG side dazzled and delighted in the opening exchanges, and the French side took a deserved lead through Marquinhos's header.

However, Pep Guardiola ultimately had the last laugh as his Man City team came out all guns blazing in the second half, with Kevin De Bruyne's fortuitous effort and Riyad Mahrez's sublime free kick - which somehow founds its way through the PSG wall - giving City a 2-1 advantage at half time in the semi-final.

The Citizens must temporarily forget about their continental endeavours, though, as they could wrap up the Premier League title should they win at Palace and Manchester United lose to Liverpool - results which would open up an unassailable 13-point lead at the top with four games remaining.

Despite two home slip-ups to Man United and Leeds United, City's dominance on the road is showing no signs of letting up, as Guardiola's men have won their last 10 Premier League away matches, and another victory on their travels here would see them equal the English top-flight record of 11 consecutive away wins.

Guardiola's side cruised to a 4-0 success over Palace when the sides met at the Etihad in January, and they have strung together a five-game unbeaten run at Selhurst Park since losing 2-1 in the 2014-15 campaign.

Crystal Palace Premier League form:
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • L

Manchester City Premier League form:
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W

Manchester City form (all competitions):
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W



Team News

Manchester City's John Stones celebrates scoring against West Ham United in the Premier League on February 27, 2021© Reuters

Palace's treatment room is still well-occupied heading into the final few games of the season, with injuries to the likes of Gary Cahill, Mamadou Sakho, Nathan Ferguson and James Tomkins restricting their defensive options, although the former is the closest to returning.

Further up the field, Connor Wickham and James McArthur are not expected back just yet either, but James McCarthy is fit again and pushing for a start over Jairo Riedewald.

Zaha's opener at the King Power Stadium was his 10th goal of the Premier League season, and the Ivory Coast international has now become just the second ever player to hit double figures for Palace in two different seasons - following in the footsteps of penalty specialist Luka Milivojevic.

John Stones will serve the second of a two-game domestic suspension after seeing red at Aston Villa, but City otherwise boast a fully-fit squad at a crucial time for Guardiola.

Aymeric Laporte should earn an immediate recall to the team in Stones's absence, but the Pep rotation is set to strike further up the pitch as they work around two gruelling Champions League ties with PSG.

Fernandinho is a candidate to replace Rodri in the middle, and Ilkay Gundogan should be fit to start after alleviating any fears of a serious injury following Idrissa Gueye's red-card challenge.

A complete overhaul of the forward line could see Ferran Torres, Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling - the latter of whom boasts six goals and one assist from his last seven starts against Palace - all featuring from the off.

Crystal Palace possible starting lineup:
Guaita; Ward, Kouyate, Dann, Van Aanholt; Ayew, Milivojevic, McCarthy, Eze; Zaha, Benteke

Manchester City possible starting lineup:
Ederson; Cancelo, Dias, Laporte, Zinchenko; Fernandinho, Gundogan, Silva; Torres, Jesus, Sterling


SM words green background

We say: Crystal Palace 0-3 Manchester City

A raft of expected changes from Man City could lead Palace to feel optimistic about their chances of a shock result, but City's form on the road is unparalleled.

Guardiola's side need other results to go their way to secure the Premier League title with four games to spare, and they should give themselves the best chance possible of confirming their status as champions with a routine win at Selhurst Park.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Away Win:data


Video prediction

Watch the Sports Mole Football Shorts prediction for this game below:


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How you voted: Crystal Palace vs Man City

Crystal Palace
11.5%
Draw
7.1%
Manchester City
81.3%
182
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Todays Game Header Right
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Chelsea54101211113
2Liverpool54101211113
3Manchester UnitedMan Utd5410134913
4Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton540174312
5Manchester CityMan City53111111010
6Everton5311107310
7Tottenham HotspurSpurs530236-39
8West Ham UnitedWest Ham522111748
9Brentford52215238
10Aston Villa52128717
11Watford520368-26
12Leicester CityLeicester520358-36
13Arsenal520329-76
14Crystal Palace512258-35
15Southampton504146-24
16Wolverhampton WanderersWolves510425-33
17Leeds UnitedLeeds5032512-73
18Newcastle UnitedNewcastle5023613-72
19Burnley501439-61
20Norwich CityNorwich5005214-120

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