Crystal Palace vs Manchester City
October 19, 2019,
Selhurst Park, Crystal Palace
Having already conceded an 8-point lead in the title race, Manchester City travel to Crystal Palace in a bid to return to the winning ways, having lost to Wolves in their last game 2 weeks ago, which seems like an eternity now, due to the international break in between.
Meanwhile, 2 back to back wins have sent Palace to 6th, just 2 points behind the defending champions Manchester City. A win – their 3rd in a row – will take them above their opponents. However, these mini breaks normally give the bigger teams the chance to regroup and things hardly remain the same. Another problem for the Eagles is the fact their next 5 games are against the sides who are above them at the moment.
The Eagles remain without Mamadou Sakho for the time being. The former Liverpool defender stepped up his recovery from a strain over the break, though is yet to return to full first-team training.
Captain Luka Milivojevic was suspended for the win at West Ham before the international break having rather impressively racked up five yellow cards already this Euro Finals.
The Serbian will return to the base of midfield, with James McCarthy likely to drop back to the bench.
Palace are expected to stick to the 4-5-1 formation that has highly contributed to their success so far this season.
Expected line-up this Euro Qualifiers 2019: Vicente Guaita; Joel Ward, Gary Cahill, Martin Kelly, Patrick Van Aanholt; Luka Milivojevic, James McArthur, Cheikhou Kouyate; Jeffrey Schlupp, Wilfried Zaha, Jordan Ayew.
City are still without long-term absentees Aymeric Laporte and Leroy Sane, while John Stones, Benjamin Mendy and Kevin De Bruyne are expected to be available for selection following their recent injury troubles. Stones and De Bruyne were all pictured in first-team training this week.
Oleksandr Zinchenko had a brilliant game for Ukraine against Portugal in the Euro Qualifiers and is expected to get the nod at left-back after playing well for Ukraine during the international break.
City are expected to stick to their 4-3-3 formation.
Expected line-up this Euro Qualifiers 2019: Ederson; Kyle Walker, Nicolas Otamendi, John Stones, Oleksandr Zinchenko; David Silva, Rodrigo, Kevin De Bruyne; Riyad Mahrez, Sergio Aguero, Raheem Sterling
With this, we move on to predicting which team will win today’s match?
Though Man City lost at home to Palace last season, they are yet to lose away at Palace since April 2015. Also, the Citizens have won 10 of their last 11 games on the road. Palace are in hot form but don’t have the pace like the Wolves had to catch City’s defenders by surprise and Stones’ return will also dent Palace’s hopes.
A win would give Palace a three-game winning run for the first time in 17 months.
Raheem Sterling (six league goals in 2019-20) bagged a brace against Crystal Palace in their last meeting and might find the back of the net again, following his return to form with England.
City have scored eight goals this season involving more than 10 passes in the build-up and playing like that, with quick passing and lots of off the ball movement, will be key to them breaking Palace down and recording a victory.
Games between these two have often involved a lot of goals, with City scoring in 15 of the pair’s 16 most recent meetings. Crystal Palace have seen over 2.5 goals in 8 of their last 9 matches against Man City in all competitions and don’t be surprised if it happens again.
There have been over 2.5 goals scored in Man City’s last 5 away Premier League games. Man City have scored at least 2 goals in 8 of their last 9 away matches (Premier League). It all points to a goal-fest.
There have been under 2.5 goals scored in Crystal Palace’s last 4 Premier League home games. However, it is more to do with the form of the opponents they have faced.
Zaha has completed at least 12 more dribbles than any other player in the Premier League this season (38). Meanwhile, De Bruyne has created more chances than any other Premier League player this season (29). Given, they both play it might be difficult to stop them.
Milivojevic has already racked up 5 yellow cards this season. And given the pace of the game that is expected, don’t be shocked if he is booked again.