Crystal Palace vs. Man City
Venue: Selhurst Park
Kick off: 2:05PM
Pep Guardiola will be after an immediate response when his Manchester City side travel to Crystal Palace in the Premier League this afternoon.
Losing at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium was not part of the plan, of course, but the Citizens will feel confident of turning the two-legged tie around on home soil to keep their Champions League dream alive.
Guardiola cannot afford to turn focus to that return leg just yet, though, as any sort of slip up in the Premier League could well turn out to be catastrophic.
Liverpool returned to the top of the table last week with their nervy 3-1 win at Southampton, a day before Man City beat Brighton & Hove Albion 1-0 at Wembley Stadium to book their place in the FA Cup final.
With a game in hand still to play, however, City’s title destiny remains in their own hands. Beat Palace, Tottenham, Manchester United, Burnley, Leicester and Brighton and they will become the first side in a decade to retain the Premier League title. It is that simple.
After seeing their 14-match winning run come to an end in midweek, now is the time for Guardiola’s men to respond by putting the pressure on Liverpool, who face Chelsea in Sunday’s late kickoff.
The Citizens’ league form has been nothing short of phenomenal, winning their last eight matches and keeping a clean sheet in six of their last seven.
However, City have lost two of their last eight Premier League games against sides starting in the bottom half of the table, having lost just one of their previous 52 such games in the competition.
In a week that could make or break City’s campaign – in terms of their quadruple hopes, at least – only three points will do from this trip to Selhurst Park.
However, Palace are one of only four sides to have stopped Man City from winning a match over the last four months, memorably coming out on top 3-2 at the Etihad Stadium in December to temporarily derail their opponents’ campaign.
That is the only game, best remembered for Andros Townsend’s world-class strike to put Palace in front after they had fallen behind inside the opening half an hour, that City have failed to take three points from on their own patch this term.
In fact, Palace have become a bogey side of sorts for Guardiola’s men, having also ended the champions’ 18-match winning run in the Premier League in December 2017 with a well-earned goalless draw.
Palace’s form has been far too inconsistent since their shock win at the Etihad, though, failing to win back-to-back games in their 15 top-flight matches since then.
The Eagles have alternated between a win and a loss in their last seven matches, most recently following up a 2-0 reverse at Tottenham Hotspur with a 1-0 triumph at Newcastle United.
Crystal Palace possible XI: Guaita, Wan-Bissaka, Kelly, Dann, Van Aanholt, Townsend, McArthur, Milivojevic, Schlupp, Batshuayi, Zaha.
Man City possible XI: Ederson, Walker, Stones, Laporte, Mendy, De Bruyne, Fernandinho, D.Silva, Sterling, Jesus, Sane.