After sharing the spoils with Newcastle United in a frantic 3-3 draw at St. James Park, Manchester City will return on home turf on Saturday afternoon to face another tricky opposition in Patrick Vieira’s Crystal Palace. The Eagles will be playing a ‘’Big Six’’ side for the third time this season. Still, they will be confident of returning with something from the Etihad after snatching a point away from Liverpool and condemning Aston Villa to a 3-1 defeat.
Under Pep Guardiola, Manchester City have produced some other-worldly football that has seen them claiming four Premier League titles in the last five years. But in a rare display of vulnerability, the Citizens were trailing 3-1 to Newcastle United halfway through the match last Sunday.
Erling Haaland and Bernardo Silva struck in quick succession to deny the hosts a fantastic win. But, Newcastle’s valiant display reaffirmed that City can’t afford to take their foot off the gas pedal to keep hold of their title. The league is getting increasingly difficult, and there is zero room for complacency for any team.
Aymeric Laporte and Nathan Ake will be absent with their respective injury issues. So, John Stones and Rúben Dias will renew their partnership at the heart of the City defence. Jack Grealish might also miss out on the matchday squad as the forward nurses a knee injury.
After forcing Liverpool to share a point at Anfield, Crystal Palace picked up their first victory of the season by beating Aston Villa at Selhurst Park. Ollie Watkins put the visitors ahead in the 5th minute, but Palace responded immediately with a Wilfried Zaha goal. The winger would add another goal to his name before Jean-Philippe Mateta scored the third for the hosts.
This was not the first time Zaha rose to the occasion to save the day for Palace. He also scored the opening goal at Anfield, which helped the London side to grind out a draw at the fiery cauldron of Anfield. If Crystal Palace want to upset City on Saturday afternoon, they will look forward to their talisman for another brilliant performance.
Vieira doesn’t have any fresh injury concerns to be worried about ahead of the City game other than James McArthur, who has a groin problem. Odsonne Édouard and Jean-Philippe Mateta will compete for the remaining spot in the Palace attacking trident as Zaha and Jordan Ayew are almost guaranteed to start.
Crystal Palace had secured a memorable 2-0 win over the home side the last time they had visited the Etihad and threw the title race wide open. The stakes are not that high on Saturday, but City will be desperate to respond with a win after dropping points at St. James Park. Crystal Palace have proved that they can have the ability to make the top dogs suffer, but City’s incredible firepower tips the balance of the tie towards the hosts. Our top football betting tips experts predict a 3-1 win for Manchester City.
Manchester City to win @ 1.19