Manchester City will look to extend their strong recent run when they host Crystal Palace on Saturday.
Pep Guardiola’s men may be 14 points off the pace in the Premier League title race but they’ve recovered brilliantly from their 3-2 defeat to Wolves in December, winning each of their five games since.
City dispatched Aston Villa with ease last time out, running up a 6-1 scoreline. But, they won’t find it anywhere near as easy against Crystal Palace, who pulled off a shock 3-2 win on their last visit to the Etihad, and are unbeaten in their last four Premier League games.
Can City keep up the momentum or will Roy Hodgson throw another spanner in the works? Read on for our preview, predictions, team news and more.
When is Man City vs Crystal Palace and where can I watch live?
Competition: Premier League
Venue: Etihad Stadium
Date: Saturday, 18 January 2020
Kick-off: 3:00 PM (UK time)
TV coverage (UK): N/A
Last five meetings: Man City vs Crystal Palace
19 Oct 2019: Crystal Palace 0-2 Man City (Premier League)
14 Apr 2019: Crystal Palace 1-3 Man City (Premier League)
22 Dec 2018: Man City 2-3 Crystal Palace (Premier League)
31 Dec 2017: Crystal Palace 0-0 Man City (Premier League)
23 Sep 2017: Man City 5-0 Crystal Palace (Premier League)
Aggregate Score: Man City (WWLDW) 12-4 Crystal Palace (LLWDL)
Ones to watch
Man City: Sergio Aguero
With his stunning trio of goals against Aston Villa last time out, Sergio Aguero moved past Thierry Henry as the Premier League’s most prolific overseas player, while also surpassing Alan Shearer’s competition record of 11 hat-tricks, taking his tally to 12. Perhaps now he’ll finally start being held in the same regard as those aforementioned Premier League icons.
In the here and now, Aguero is absolutely vital to Guardiola’s prospects of success and will once again look to wreak havoc when he comes up against a Palace side without a clean sheet in their last seven games across all competitions.
Key stat: Aguero has been directly involved in six goals across his last three games in all competitions, scoring five and assisting another.
Crystal Palace: Cenk Tosun
Crystal Palace have been desperately short of consistent goal threats this season, hence the loan signing of Cenk Tosun from Everton.
The Turkey international may have struggled to make an impression at Goodison Park but there’s no doubting his ability as a lethal finisher. Give him the chances and he will get the goals.
Key stat: Tosun has scored three goals in his last three games at international level.
Aymeric Laporte and Leroy Sane are both nearing returns to fitness but are unlikely to be risked on Saturday.
Given their impressive demolition of Villa last time out, Guardiola will no doubt be tempted to field Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus from the start again, although the latter will likely make way for Raheem Sterling.
Predicted XI: Ederson; Walker, Fernandinho, Stones, Mendy; Rodri, D. Silva, De Bruyne; Sterling, Aguero, Mahrez.
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Loan signing Cenk Tosun could get his first start for the club and his addition will be welcome news for Hodgson, who could be without up to nine first-team players.
Mamadou Sakho, Joel Ward, Jeffrey Schlupp, Scott Dann, Andros Townsend and Patrick van Aanholt all remain sidelined, while Max Meyer was forced off during Palace’s 1-1 draw with Arsenal and won’t be fit to return.
Luka Milivojevic is suspended and Christian Benteke is also doubtful.
Predicted XI: Guaita; Kelly, Tomkins, Cahill, Riedewald; McArthur, McCarthy, Kouyate; Ayew, Tosun, Zaha.
Man City have looked back to their rampant selves recently and the way they dismantled Villa last time out was a joy to behold. Crystal Palace have caused problems in the past, but not this time.
Scoreline prediction: Man City 3-1 Crystal Palace
Check out more of Squawka’s Premier League predictions here.