Manchester City will embark on a trip to London as they look to restore the six-point gap over Liverpool when they take on Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.

Crystal Palace are a club on the bounce, as Patrick Vieira seems to have manoeuvred around their worst patch of form this season. After enduring a difficult run since the start of 2022 in the league, during which they managed a solitary victory, the team secured a morale-boosting win over Wolves last time out.

Having gone four games without defeat in all competitions, Crystal Palace will be hoping to extend their unbeaten run. On Monday, the Eagles will be looking to do an unlikely double over title favourites Manchester City. Palace’s main goal this season remains finishing in the upper half of the table, but there are plenty of other clubs in the race for a top-ten finish.

However, Manchester City, who will have many thoughts coming into this crunch clash, are standing in Palace’s way. While the memories of the reverse fixture will cross Pep Guardiola’s mind, revenge will be the last thing the manager will be thinking about. The Catalan tactician will be aiming to restore Manchester City’s six-point lead at the top of the table after Liverpool reduced it to three with their win against Brighton on Saturday.

Manchester City come into this game after progressing into the quarter-finals of the Champions League after a goalless draw against Sporting CP at the Etihad. Before that, the reigning champions had dispatched Manchester United with ease in the Premier League in the derby. They will be hoping for a similar performance against the Eagles at Selhurst Park.

Team News & Tactics

Crystal Palace

Patrick Vieira will have Nathan Ferguson and James McArthur missing from action against Manchester City. Joel Ward is also a big doubt, although he is getting close to a return. The full-back will be assessed before the game, although the manager might prefer to keep Nathaniel Clyne at right-back.

Vieira will likely go with an unchanged lineup from the last game against Wolves. There is no reason to make any alterations considering the current side have been performing well and should counter the threat of Manchester City.

Vieira will stick to his preferred 4-3-3 formation to replicate Manchester City’s shape with Jeffrey Schlupp and Conor Gallagher on either side of Cheikhou Kouyate in the middle of the park.

Jean-Philippe Mateta has been in good form of late, and the striker will keep the likes of Christian Benteke, Odsonne Edouard and Jordan Ayew on the bench again. Wilfried Zaha and Michael Olise will pose a threat from either flank as Crystal Palace looks to do the double over their opponents.

Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Guaita; Clyne, Andersen, Guehi, Mitchell; Gallagher, Kouyate, Schlupp; Olise, Mateta, Zaha

Manchester City

Many of the key players who missed the midweek encounter against Sporting CP are expected to be back in the lineup. Joao Cancelo, who was absent through illness, is likely to slot straight into the starting XI. The potential absentees could be restricted to Ruben Dias and Nathan Ake, who are currently injured.

Kyle Walker, who missed the Champions League clash through suspension, will likely come back in at right-back. John Stones and Aymeric Laporte should retain their central defensive partnership ahead of Ederson in goal.

Considering the game’s significance in the context of the title race, Pep Guardiola will name his strongest midfield combination. Rodri will sit at the base of the three-man unit as usual, with Kevin De Bruyne and Bernardo Silva on either side of the Spaniard.

Jack Grealish will start from the left side of the attack, with Riyad Mahrez on the opposite flank. Phil Foden will begin the game as a false nine, a role he has adapted to brilliantly in recent months.

Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Ederson; Walker, Stones, Laporte, Cancelo; De Bruyne, Rodri, Silva; Mahrez, Foden, Grealish

Key Stats

  • Crystal Palace are unbeaten in their last four games across all competitions.
  • Manchester City have won 16 of their last 18 matches in the Premier League.
  • Manchester City have won six of their last seven away games to Crystal Palace in all competitions.
  • Manchester City have scored at least two goals in five of their last six away matches against Crystal Palace in all competitions.
  • Manchester City have kept a clean sheet in five of their last seven away games against Crystal Palace in all competitions.

Player To Watch

Kevin De Bruyne

The Belgian has been hitting top form in recent weeks and would be high on confidence ahead of the Crystal Palace clash. The attacking midfielder has been influencing games like before and will be key for Manchester City’s chance-creation at Selhurst Park.

He is also in a good goalscoring touch and will want to continue this run. His form will be critical for the Cityzens on Monday night as well as the rest of the season if they are to achieve their season’s objectives.

Prediction

Crystal Palace 0-2 Manchester City

Crystal Palace come into this game in decent form. The Londoners are on a four-game unbeaten streak, but Pep Guardiola’s men are well placed to stop that run in its tracks. Manchester City’s quality of players and style will likely trump Patrick Vieira’s tactics.

The Premier League champions are overwhelming favourites to win this encounter, as they will look to exact revenge on the Eagles after a shock defeat in the reverse fixture, while also stretching their lead at the top.

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