Manchester City vs Crystal Palace

Manchester City’s faltering Premier League title defense continues at the Etihad Stadium as they entertain out-of-sorts Crystal Palace.

Manchester City completed their Champions League group stage campaign with a 100% following a 3-2 win at Red Star Belgrade midweek. With his side securing knockout progression with two games to spare, Pep Guardiola took the occasion to rest almost his entire starting line-up as he bids to haul back a four-point gap on Premier League leaders Liverpool after a 2-1 comeback win at Luton Town last time out. A quick-fire second-half blitz at Kenilworth Road helped the ‘Citizens’ arrest a dismal four-game winless league run (D3, L1), but it’s now been six top-flight outings since they last kept a clean sheet. Therefore, Man City can’t take this contest lightly, even though they start as heavy pre-match favorites, especially considering they’ve only won twice in their last five Premier League H2Hs at the Etihad (D1, L2).

In the meantime, visiting Crystal Palace dropped a second-half lead in a frustrating 2-1 home loss to Liverpool last weekend, extending their woeful winless run in the Premier League to five matches (D1, L4). The visitors’ freefall has steered them close to the relegation zone, though a seven-point lead on 18th-placed Luton looks comforting. Despite their perennial struggles outside Selhurst Park, the ‘Eagles’ have fared reasonably well on the road this season (W3, D2, L3) despite barely averaging a goal per game. As one of the division’s most uneventful sides, Roy Hodgson’s underachievers have netted a league-low three first-half goals this term, prompting fears of falling behind at halftime. That’s the last thing they need, knowing they’ve gone winless in all four such matches in 2023/24 (D2, L2).

Manchester City vs Crystal Palace

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