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

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

Manchester City will be looking to make it eight victories in a row in all competitions when they continue their Premier League campaign at home to Crystal Palace on Sunday night.

Pep Guardiola's side have won their last four in the league to rise into third spot in the table, while Palace, who picked up a point at Arsenal on Thursday night, are currently down in 13th.


Match preview

Manchester City's Phil Foden celebrates scoring against Brighton & Hove Albion in the Premier League on January 13, 2021© Reuters

There is no question that City have had their problems this season, and it did not appear in the opening months of the campaign that they were capable of launching a title challenge in 2020-21.

Guardiola's team have taken 12 points from the last 12 available, though, beating Southampton, Newcastle United, Chelsea and Brighton & Hove Albion in their last four league fixtures, while they also booked their spot in the final of the EFL Cup with a 2-0 victory away to Manchester United on January 6.

The Citizens beat Birmingham City 3-0 in the third round of the FA Cup last weekend, meanwhile, and will therefore enter this weekend's contest off the back of seven straight victories in all competitions.

As it stands, Guardiola's side are four points behind leaders Man United with a game in hand, while they are just a point off second-placed Liverpool, with one or both of the top two set to drop points on Sunday due to their top-of-the-table meeting at Anfield.

City have the best defensive record in the league this season, conceding just 13 times, but they have only managed to score 25 goals, which is not even close to being among the best records in the division.

Arsenal's Alexandre Lacazette in action against Crystal Palace in the Premier League on January 14, 2021© Reuters

Palace, meanwhile, have picked up 23 points from their 18 matches this season to sit down in 13th position, 11 points clear of the relegation zone, which represents a solid campaign thus far.

The Eagles will bring a three-game unbeaten run into Sunday's contest, meanwhile, having picked up a welcome point away to Arsenal on Thursday night.

Roy Hodgson's side also took four points from their two recent matches against Leicester City and Sheffield United, and they are certainly capable of making it a difficult 90 minutes for the Manchester giants.

Indeed, Palace have already won away to Man United in the league this season and hit West Bromwich Albion for five at the start of December, with Wilfried Zaha scoring braces in both of those fixtures.

The capital club have also avoided defeat on their last two visits to the Etihad Stadium, winning 3-2 in December 2018 before picking up a point in a 2-2 draw in January 2020.

Manchester City Premier League form: DDWWWW
Manchester City form (all competitions): WWWWWW

Crystal Palace Premier League form: DLLDWD
Crystal Palace form (all competitions): LLDWLD


Team News

Sergio Aguero in action for Manchester City on December 15, 2020© Reuters

City will again be without the services of Aymeric Laporte and Nathan Ake through injury, while Sergio Aguero is unavailable due to self-isolation rules.

Guardiola revealed during Friday's press conference that Eric Garcia is available once again, though, while Cole Palmer and Scott Carson have also been cleared to return.

The hosts are expected to make changes from the team that started against Brighton, with Gabriel Jesus, Raheem Sterling and Kyle Walker all pushing for spots in the starting XI.

Walker's expected return could see Joao Cancelo switch to right-back, and there is again likely to be a starting role for Phil Foden, who scored his eighth goal of the campaign last time out.

As for Palace, Conor Wickham, Jeffrey Schlupp, Mamadou Sakho, Martin Kelly, Wayne Hennessey and Nathan Ferguson remain unavailable for selection this weekend.

The Eagles did not pick up any fresh problems against Arsenal, though, and it would not be a surprise to see Hodgson send the exact same XI onto the field, with Christian Benteke joining Zaha in attack.

As a result, Gary Cahill could find himself on the bench once again, although Jordan Ayew and James McCarthy will be at the front of the queue should the Palace manager decide to shuffle his pack.

Manchester City possible starting lineup:
Ederson; Walker, Stones, Dias, Cancelo; De Bruyne, Rodri, Gundogan; Foden, Jesus, Sterling

Crystal Palace possible starting lineup:
Guaita; Ward, Tomkins, Kouyate, Mitchell; Townsend, McArthur, Milivojevic, Eze; Zaha, Benteke


SM words green background

We say: Manchester City 2-0 Crystal Palace

Palace deserve huge credit for their performance at Arsenal, and the Eagles will enter this weekend's contest in strong form. City are on a bit of a roll at the moment, though, and we are finding it difficult to back against Guardiola's side, who are now regarded by many to be the favourites for the title.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 2.5 goals 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.Over 2.5:data



Video prediction

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


ID:430669:cQx:QQ:

How you voted: Man City vs Crystal Palace

Manchester City
79.7%
Draw
8.3%
Crystal Palace
12.0%
133
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Sergio Aguero in action for Manchester City on December 15, 2020
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Man City without Sergio Aguero for Brighton visit
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Todays Game Header Right
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City27205256173965
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd27149453322151
3Leicester CityLeicester27155746311550
4Chelsea27138642251747
5Everton2614483933646
6West Ham UnitedWest Ham2613674031945
7Liverpool27127847351243
8Tottenham HotspurSpurs26126842271542
9Aston Villa251231038271139
10Arsenal26114113427737
11Leeds UnitedLeeds26112134344-135
12Wolverhampton WanderersWolves2797112837-934
13Crystal Palace2797112943-1434
14Southampton2686123144-1330
15Burnley2778121935-1629
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton26511102633-726
17Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2675142744-1726
18Fulham27411122133-1223
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom2738162056-3617
20Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd2742211643-2714

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