Off the back of consecutive wins in all competitions, Manchester City welcome a struggling Crystal Palace side to the Etihad Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
In midweek, Pep Guardiola rotated his side and gave academy graduates a chance to shine in the UEFA Champions League at Crvena zvezda. Micah Hamilton was handed a full senior debut and grasped the opportunity with both hands, finding himself on the scoresheet.
Manchester City dominated the affair in the Serbian capital as far as possession was concerned, however Red Star Belgrade certainly gave a good account of themselves in front of their home fans.
Guardiola’s Norwegian prospect Oscar Bobb also had chance to showcase his class and talent, as he effortlessly jinked pasted three Zvezda defenders and calmly placed the ball low into the far corner, doubling his side’s advantage in the meantime.
However, South Korean international In-Beom Hwang pulled one back for the hosts on the night through yet more careless defensive work from Manchester City, delightfully driving a finish across goal and beyond Stefan Ortega Moreno.
Forgotten-man Kalvin Phillips stepped up to a late Manchester City penalty won by Micah Hamilton and cooly converted in the 85th minute, before Aleksander Katai got what ended up being a consolation goal in the 91st minute for the home side.
Now, all attention turns to the visit of Crystal Palace to the Etihad Stadium this weekend, as the games continue to come thick and fast during the festive period of the season in what will be City’s final top-flight outing before the FIFA Club World Cup in Saudi Arabia.
In domestic competitions, Manchester City secured all three points on the road against Luton Town last time out. A difficult side to play against, The Hatters have recorded good performances against Arsenal (3-4 loss), Liverpool (1-1 draw), and posed a challenge on the Premier League champions.
Despite the win at Kenilworth Road, City have struggled of late to pick up all three points in matches drawing to Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham before tasting defeat against Aston Villa. However, since then, Guardiola and his players have won two on the bounce in domestic and continental competitions – both in the absence of prolific goalscorer Erling Haaland.
Crystal Palace have been under-performing of late, struggling to pick up a victory since Nvember 4 in a 0-2 win away at Burnley. Yet, despite their struggles, they went toe-to-toe with table-toppers Liverpool last time out.
In this affair, they found themselves ahead after being awarded a penalty as youngster Jarrel Quansah was deemed to have fouled Jean-Philippe Mateta and he calmly slotted the penalty straight down the middle. Unfortunately for them, though, the game ended with disappointment as Mo Salah and Harvey Elliott both found the back of the net in the 76th and 91st minute respectively.
Roy Hodgson’s side find themselves sitting in 15th this campaign as their already small squad has been ravaged with injuries throughout the season. Key players such as Eberechi Eze, Michael Olise, Cheick Doucoure and Tyrick Mitchell have all been absent, at one point or another, leading to several missed opportunities for picking up points.
In their last five matches, the South London club have only collected one point which is reflected in their 15th place position. Taking their injury list in to account, a grand total of 10 first-team players, it’s hard to see a scenario in which they can threaten Manchester City.
Yet, despite this, there may be some optimism in that Crystal Palace tend to manage against Manchester City as some results have gone in their favour in the past – a trend that manager Pep Guardiola was keen to highlight several times during his pre-match press conference.
Manchester City will take on Crystal Palace on Saturday 16th December at the Etihad Stadium, with kick-off scheduled for 15:00 (UK).
Manchester City are set to be without three key players for the tie on Saturday afternoon.
Kevin De Bruyne has been a long-term absentee this season as he continues to recover from a hamstring injury that has prevented him from featuring for much of the season. Erling Haaland is expected to play no part in this match, having missed the last few matches due to a stress foot injury.
Manchester City are still awaiting the return of tricky winger Jeremy Doku, who has been in electric form this season. The Belgian suffered a muscular issue against Tottenham and is yet to return.
Crystal Palace have an extensive injury list with many names set to miss out on Saturday afternoon. Midfielder Cheick Doucoure will be out for the foreseeable future as a result of a snapped achilles tendon.
Jefferson Lerma will not take part due to a thigh injury whilst hot prospect Jesurun Rak-Sakyi is looking at a return in the new year owing to the same problem. Dean Henderson, who had been suffering with the same issue, trained this week however Roy Hodgson announced that this match may be too soon for the shot stopper.
Eberechi Eze and Rob Holding are looking at a few more weeks out. However, the former is closer than the ex-Arsenal defender to returning. Ghanaian forward Jordan Ayew definitely won’t make an appearance. He will be serving a one-match ban due to a red card he picked up against Liverpool.
Palace’s other goalkeeping option, Sam Johnstone, also won’t feature which offers a chance for 29-year-old Remi Matthews. Odsonne Edouard is another to add the extensive injury list with a knee problem. However, Hodgson confirmed some positive news for Crystal Palace fans as left-back Tyrick Mitchell “is ok” and “is the only one who is really back.”
Head to Head
Overall, these two sides have gone head-to-head a total of 69 times. In those matches, Manchester City have come out on top 37 times whilst Crystal Palace have been victorious on 17 occasions.
Most recently, Pep Guardiola’s side secured a win at Selhurst Park. The only goal of the game came through an Erling Haaland penalty. However, since then a lot has changed including the Crystal Palace manager. Then boss Patrick Vieira departed and they subsequently appointed veteran manager Roy Hodgson. This result left the home side winless in 10 consecutive Premier League matches.
The fixture at the Etihad Stadium produced more goals last time around, however. Finishing 4-2, Erling Haaland once again produced a clinical performance as he secured himself a hat trick and took home the match ball.
Saturday’s away side last took three points from Pep Guardiola’s team back on 30th October 2021, as goals from Connor Gallagher and Wilfried Zaha secured a clean sheet in a 0-2 win.
- Manchester City have lost just two of the last 16 matches against Crystal Palace. However, both defeats have been at the Etihad stadium.
- Since Pep Guardiola’s appointment, only Manchester United have won more matches than Crystal Palace at the Etihad Stadium.
- The last 10 goals Manchester City have scored against the Eagles have been in the second half of matches.
- Manchester City have drawn their last two matches at home in the Premier League.
- Julián Álvarez is moving closer to 50 Premier League appearances.
- Despite being 15th in the Premier League, Crystal Palace currently sit eighth in the away Premier League table.
How to Watch
For fans in the United Kingdom, the match will not be televised due to the traditional 3PM black-out. Radio commentary will be provided by BBC Radio 5 Live and BBC Radio Manchester, with kick-off scheduled for 3PM (UK).
For supporters living elsewhere, you can find the complete TV listings here!
You will also be able to follow the match on City Xtra’s Youtube channel via our live Watchalong show!
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