Who Will Prevail as Manchester City Host Palace at the Ethiad?

Last updated: May 5, 2017 by Leon Marshal

Game details

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Kick-off: Saturday, 12.30pm
Venue: Etihad Stadium
Coverage: Sky Sports 1 (HD, Ultra HD)
Home Form: DDLWWL
Away Form: LLWDWL
Last Meeting: C Palace 0 – 3 Man City
Competition: English FA Cup

Both Manchester City and Crystal Palace need a result to secure objectives at opposite ends of the table, as City push for a top-four finish, and Palace begin to become wary of the drop.

The two teams come into Saturday’s early kick-off with much cause for caution. Manchester City sit precariously in 4th with local rivals United just a point behind, and Guardiola needs three points here if he is to convince doubters that City will be playing Champions League football next season. A Europa league place and a trophy-less campaign must go down as a failure for the celebrated Spanish manager, who’s career up to this point had been much more fruitful.

Crystal Palace, on the other hand, have stumbled since victory at Anfield was met with declarations of a revival under manager Sam Allardyce. Two home defeats on the spin to high-flying Spurs and, more inexplicably, to ‘notoriously-bad-on-the-road’ Burnley last weekend leaves Palace looking over their shoulder just six points above the drop. With Swansea and Hull City seemingly rallying, a result for Palace would put minds at ease. A week is a long time in football.

On paper, this looks like a comfortable home win for City. But Palace picked up wins at both Chelsea and Liverpool last month, and The Etihad has hardly been a fortress for Guardiola’s side in 2017. City have only recorded three wins on home soil this year – Swansea, Hull and Burnley – and were behind twice against fellow strugglers Middlesbrough last Sunday. Another big scalp for The Eagles is not out of the question here, but problems in defence and the return of Gabriel Jesus have lengthened the price of an away win into tempting territory.

Team News

David Silva is still a doubt after missing the Middlesbrough game and City don’t function the same without him

Gabriel Jesus should be fit enough to start again after his scoring return to the first team on Teesside

Palace have problems at the back with Scott Dann, James Tomkins and Mamadou Sakho all out

Yohan Cabaye will provide a boost upon his return to the starting XI after being rested against Burnley

Expected Line-Ups:

Manchester City(4-4-2): Caballero; Zabaleta, Kompany, Otamendi, Clichy; Fernandinho, Toure, De Bruyne Sane; Agüero, Gabriel Jesus
Subs: Sagna, Fernando, Sterling, Nolito, Gunn, Garcia, Navas, Kolarov
Injured: Bravo, Stones, Silva, Gündogan
Doubtful: Agüero
Not available:
Crystal Palace(4-3-3): Hennessey; Ward, Kelly, Delaney, Van Aanholt; Milivojevic, Cabaye, Puncheon; Zaha, Townsend, Benteke
Subs: Speroni, Flamini, Remy, Campbell, Lee Chung-yong, Sako, Schlupp
Injured: Dann, Tomkins, Sakho, Souaré, Wickham, J.Benteke
Doubtful: Cabaye
Not available:

So Far This Season

. . .
Man City This Season Crystal Palace This Season
4th League Position 16th
19 (11) Wins (away) 11 (6)
4-0 vs. West Ham Biggest Win 3-0 vs. Arsenal
9 (2) Draws (away) 5 (3)
0-4 vs. Everton Biggest Defeat 0-4 vs. Sunderland
Agüero (18) Top Goal Scorer Benteke (14)
Y66, R4 Discipline Y72, R0
5 Failures to Score 11
10 Clean Sheets 6
62% Both Teams to Score Games 51%
68% Over 2.5 Goals 54%
32% Under 2.5 Goals 46%
  • Fernando Gabriel Jesus is fit again and will probably start this one. A late equaliser at Middlesbrough last weekend will have wet his appetite for more. Back him to score first at 7/2.
  • Christian Benteke has struggled at Selhurst Park in his last two games but was potent on the road last month. Odds of 21/10 on the big man to score anytime is excellent value.
  • Sergio Aguero is likely to partner Jesus and the South American strike force could be too much for Palace’s weakened defence. Kun is 7/4 to score two or more.
  • Wilfried Zaha has a habit of turning it on against the big boys and has been excellent for Palace under Allardyce. A goal anytime returns 4/1 and is a nice little outside chance bet.

Head to Head

Last 5 meetings between the two sides
Date Competition Game Result First Goal-scorer
28/01/2017 English FA Cup Crystal Palace 0 – 3 Manchester City Sterling 43′
19/11/2016 English Premier League Crystal Palace 1 – 2 Manchester City Touré 39′
16/01/2016 English Premier League Manchester City 4 – 0 Crystal Palace Delph 22′
28/10/2015 English League Cup Manchester City 5 – 1 Crystal Palace Bony 22′
12/09/2015 English Premier League Crystal Palace 0 – 1 Manchester City Iheanacho 90′

Conclusion & Betting Tips

Crystal Palace are priced 10/1 for the away win, and the bookies are clearly factoring in a combination of the loss of key defenders for Allardyce and the possibility of a rare Aguero/Jesus strike partnership for City. The Double Chance market is where you’ll more likely find value, and I like the look of Draw or Palace at 3/1 despite the mismatch in a strong City attack versus a weakened Palace defence. Big Sam has a knack for doing a job on top European coaches and Pep’s side are the most predictable in the top six and, theoretically, the easiest to prepare for.

City have only scored two first-half goals in their last six home games, failing to score all together in two of those. A Palace clean sheet is unlikely but the Half Time market provides promise. A draw at half time is priced at 2/1, and you’ll struggle to find a better bet around this range than that. Gabriel Jesus throws a bit of a spanner in the works here. The Brazilian wonderkid scored 11 minutes into his last league start at the Etihad Stadium and will be looking to make up for lost time following a scoring return to the side. Despite all this, a goalless first half is priced at 7/2 with Bet365 and edges it as my bet of the week.