Crystal Palace come to the Etihad with momentum as they take on Manchester City, who are eager to return to winning ways.
Manchester City dropped points last weekend in their pulsating 3-3 draw away to Newcastle United. Pep Guardiola’s side recovered after going 3-1 down at one stage, as two quick-fire second-half goals from Erling Haaland and Bernardo Silva kept their unbeaten start to the season intact.
They did drop two points, which allowed Arsenal to claim the top spot in the table. Guardiola will be eager to return to winning ways and rebuild momentum with this group. A win over Crystal Palace would send them top of the table, probably momentarily, considering Arsenal takes on Fulham later on Saturday.
However, the clash against Crystal Palace has proved difficult for Guardiola, with Patrick Vieira ousting the Catalan manager last season. The clash at the Etihad will be fresh in the minds of Man City players, as they lost the game and were down to ten men.
Crystal Palace will be eager to continue their recent good run against Man City. Vieira’s men secured a stunning victory at the Etihad last season and produced a stubborn performance in their goalless draw at Selhurst Park.
Despite starting the season with a loss against Arsenal, Palace have recovered with a stunning draw against Liverpool and a win over Aston Villa last weekend. Vieira’s men also secured their place in the next round of the EFL Cup with a midweek win over Oxford United.
With momentum on their hands, Palace could prove to be a good opponent for Manchester City. This clash will be critical to the early trendsetters in the Premier League, as both teams will be gunning for a decent result.
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— Manchester City (@ManCity) August 25, 2022
Manchester City’s exploits at the Camp Nou in a midweek friendly may have come at a cost. Luke Mbete and Kalvin Phillips sustained injuries in Barcelona, which should rule them out of the Crystal Palace clash. The former was not expected to feature anyway; the latter may deplete Guardiola’s squad depth.
Other absentees include Aymeric Laporte, who continues his recovery from knee surgery, while Jack Grealish and Nathan Ake are significant doubts ahead of the Crystal Palace clash. With the Dutchman starting against Newcastle last weekend, his fitness issue could allow Guardiola to recall Ruben Dias back into the lineup.
Despite the mounting injury troubles, Guardiola can name his strongest starting lineup for Palace. Dias will be joined by John Stones, although any new injury to either player could become a problem for Manchester City’s central defence.
Joao Cancelo and Kyle Walker are pencilled in for the full-back positions, while Rodri is set to take up the holding midfield role. Guardiola is likely to keep Bernardo Silva and Kevin De Bruyne alongside Rodri in midfield, with a front three of Erling Haaland, Riyad Mahrez and Phil Foden to lead the attack.
Probable lineup (4-3-3): Ederson; Walker, Stones, Dias, Cancelo; De Bruyne, Rodri, Silva; Mahrez, Haaland, Foden
Patrick Vieira will have four confirmed absentees to deal with. James McArthur, James Tomkins, Nathan Ferguson and Jack Butland are all missing from action, although no new injury problems were reported at the time of writing.
Michael Olise’s return is a boost Vieira needed, as the attacker could be available to start against Manchester City. Jordan Ayew has performed well, but Olise provides a different option in the final third to the Ghanaian. The Crystal Palace manager will be seriously considering using the youngster against Manchester City.
— Crystal Palace F.C. (@CPFC) August 26, 2022
Their midweek clash somewhat papered over the cracks with squad depth issues, as Marc Guehi started against Oxford United. Vieira can name a much-changed defence, with Joachim Andersen, Joel Ward and Tyrick Mitchell all set to join Guehi at the back.
Vicente Guaita is set to keep his place despite Sam Johnstone being fit in recent weeks. Cheick Doucoure will keep his place in the holding midfield position, with Jeffrey Schlupp and Eberechi Eze playing either side of the Malian.
Vieira will again decide on Olise, although if he wants continuity, Ayew could be the firm choice on the right side of the attack. Wilfried Zaha will keep his place on the left, with Jean-Philippe Mateta likely to lead the line ahead of Odsonne Edouard.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Guaita; Ward, Andersen, Guehi, Mitchell; Schlupp, Doucoure, Eze; Ayew, Mateta, Zaha
- Manchester City have won 13 of their last 15 games at the Etihad in the Premier League.
- Manchester City have scored at least two goals in their last 12 matches in the Premier League.
- Manchester City have won only once in four games against Crystal Palace at home.
- Crystal Palace were the only top-flight club that Manchester City failed to score against last season.
- If Crystal Palace win, they could become the second team to secure three away league wins against Manchester City with Pep Guardiola as their manager,
Player To Watch
Haaland has set the tone in the Premier League, despite a few doubting his abilities to shine in England. However, the season is long, and the consistency of delivery from the striker will be judged at a later stage. For now, he has the opportunity to correct some past mistakes from his team against Crystal Palace.
Haaland has already started scoring consistently, but the real test will come against a physical side like Crystal Palace. The Norwegian is a physical specimen and could be handy for Guardiola to deal with the Eagles’ backline.
Manchester City 2-1 Crystal Palace
Manchester City may dropped points against Newcastle but came out better from last weekend. Crystal Palace offer a different test, although Patrick Vieira’s men have momentum, which could play in their favour. Guardiola certainly has the firepower, and the introduction of Haaland gives them a different option on the front line.
However, Crystal Palace have prove a tricky customer in the last few seasons, which makes this one an exciting clash. For now, Manchester City are expected to take three points from this clash, although it may not happen without a Crystal Palace fightback.