Crystal Palace will be looking to do the double over Man City on Sunday, but George Pitts expects the visitors to send a message to Merseyside.
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Crystal Palace v Manchester City
- Selhurst Park, 1405 kick-off on Sky Sports Premier League
Only one team can have the bragging rights about winning at the Etihad in the Premier League. Now Crystal Palace can hope to do the double over Manchester City.
A lot has happened since that shock result in mid-December, which saw Andros Townsend net probably the goal of the season with a thunderous long-range volley.
Palace are 21 points better off and eleven clear of 18th-placed Cardiff, they also reached the FA Cup quarter-finals. The league is always the priority though and after their 1-0 win at Newcastle last week, a relaxed Roy Hodgson admitted his side are pretty much safe now.
Pep Guardiola's City, meanwhile, also lost in the game after the Palace defeat, this time at Leicester on Boxing Day. They have since won 21/24 games in all competitions and are still in the hunt for an unprecedented quadruple.
That achievement looks in doubt though, after losing 1-0 to Tottenham in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final in midweek and the return leg is on Wednesday, so Hodgson will be hoping that City are slightly distracted on the day.
Prediction: Crystal Palace 1-2 Man City (Sky Bet odds: 8/1)
Few could have predicted the Etihad result and it is hard to predict anything but an away win here. With Palace safe, they can take their foot off the gas a little and that is not ideal considering they are one of the worst home sides in the league.
They have won only four times at Selhurst this season - only Fulham and Huddersfield have worse home records - and City should be well rotated to dig in and get a result. With Liverpool playing shortly after them, they must send a message up to Merseyside.
Best bet: Kevin De Bruyne to score anytime at 3/1
The Belgian surprisingly started on the bench in the Champions League defeat at Spurs' new stadium, coming on for the final minute.
He should be fresh legged and starting here and the price on him to find the back of the net is eye-catching enough for a small stake. He scored in his last Premier League appearance, the win over Cardiff, but what was more impressive was his performance.
De Bruyne looked back to his best after another difficult season ravaged by injuries. He has had six attempts in his last two games and has a decent record of three goals and five assists in eight appearances against the Eagles.
If you want a tastier 7/1 option, you can back him to score from outside the area - 16 out of his 24 attempts in the league have come outside the 18 yard box, but our preference is to go with him anytime.
It may seem like an inclusion after his goal in the reverse fixture, but that is far from the case. Townsend has proved to be an important point in Palace's attack, with his pace key when he starts off on the right-hand side.
He averages nearly two shots per game in the Premier League - and when he does they come in a flurry. He had five attempts in their last home outing against Huddersfield, four v Brighton at Selhurst and four in their home clash v Man United before that.
Palace should still give it a good go at the other end and there is often value in looking at the stats on the underdog's side. This price provides just that.
- Crystal Palace are looking to complete the top-flight double over Manchester City for the first time since the 1972-73 campaign. Indeed, the last non-big six side to beat the Citizens twice in the same Premier League season were Everton back in 2010-11.
- Manchester City have won five of their last seven Premier League matches against Crystal Palace, though havent beaten the Eagles in their last two encounters (D1 L1).
- Manchester City themsleves were the last side to complete the league double over the Premier League reigning champions, beating Chelsea 1-0 both home and away last season.
- Crystal Palace have won just 41% of their Premier League points in home games this season (16/39), the lowest such ratio in the division.
- Manchester City have won their last eight Premier League games, keeping a clean sheet in six of the last seven.
- Manchester City have lost two of their last eight Premier League games against sides starting in the bottom half of the table (W6) – they’d lost just one of their previous 52 such games in the competition (W43 D8 L1).
- Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has won 23 of his 27 Premier League matches against English managers (D3 L1), with his only such defeat to date coming against Roy Hodgson and Crystal Palace in the reverse fixture earlier this season.
- Crystal Palace Luka Milivojevic has scored 10 penalty goals in the Premier League this season – only Andrew Johnson (11 in 2004-05, also with Crystal Palace) has netted more from the spot in a single campaign.
- Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero has scored 20 Premier League goals in London – only Wayne Rooney (30) has scored more when excluding goals for London clubs. However, Aguero is yet to score in his five appearances at Selhurst Park in the competition.
- Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola is winless in his last two league meetings with Crystal Palace – he’s only ever had longer winless league runs against Everton (3) and Borussia Mönchengladbach (4) in his entire managerial career.
Odds correct as of 1800 BST on 12/04/19