Crystal Palace vs Manchester City: Preview and Prediction

Manchester City will aim to keep the pressure on Liverpool and Arsenal when they take on Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Saturday.

The games continue to come thick and fast across Europe as we approach the business end of the 2023/24 season. As for the Premier League, Gameweek 32 kicks off less than 48 hours after the previous round of fixtures ended when Crystal Palace and Manchester City clash at Selhurst Park on Saturday afternoon.

Crystal Palace would have hoped for a transformation of fortunes when Oliver Glasner replaced Roy Hodgson at Selhurst Park. But the Austrian manager has overseen only one win in five outings thus far as the Eagles’ head coach. However, the results have somewhat improved, considering the hosts have lost only twice, although they come into this game on the back of a 1-0 defeat to Bournemouth.

As for Manchester City, they bounced back from a two-game Premier League winless run with a 4-1 win over Aston Villa earlier this week. That result has helped them keep pace with Liverpool and Arsenal at the top of the table, with the former three points ahead and the latter a point clear.

The reverse fixture saw Crystal Palace coming from two goals down to hold Manchester City to a 2-2 draw, with Michael Olise scoring a late equaliser. The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at the encounter ahead of the latest meeting between the two sides.

Team News & Tactics

Crystal Palace

Oliver Glasner has an injury crisis hampering his preparations ahead of his side’s latest fixture. Against Manchester City on Saturday, the Crystal Palace manager will be bereft of the services of at least eight first-team players.

But there is some good news, as Michael Olise is close to returning to action from a hamstring injury. Meanwhile, Chris Richards is the latest absentee after picking up a knee injury. The 24-year-old has joined Sam Johnstone (elbow), Rob Holding (ankle), Marc Guehi (knee), Matheus Franca (groin), Jesurun Rak-Sakyi (thigh), Cheick Doucoure (achilles), and Odsonne Edouard (knee) on the sidelines.

Johnstone’s absence means Dean Henderson will take his spot between the sticks, with Crystal Palace lining up in a 3-4-3 formation in front of him against Manchester City. The central defensive unit should feature Joel Ward, Joachim Andersen, and Jefferson Lerma.

As for the midfield unit, there is no looking past Adam Wharton and Will Hughes. Daniel Munoz and Tyrick Mitchell should be the two wing-backs, with the duo contributing on both ends of the pitch. Finally, Jean-Philippe Mateta will lead the line for Crystal Palace, with Jordan Ayew and Eberechi Eze completing the numbers in the offensive trifecta.

Probable Lineup (3-4-3): Henderson; Ward, Andersen, Lerma; Munoz, Wharton, Hughes, Mitchell; Ayew, Mateta, Eze

Manchester City

Unlike his counterpart in the Crystal Palace dugout, Pep Guardiola does not have many pressing issues to deal with ahead of the trip to Selhurst Park. The Manchester City manager will be without three first-team players on Saturday.

Ederson Moraes is the most notable absentee, with the Brazilian international recovering from a thigh injury. However, he is closing in on returning to action and should feature in the UEFA Champions League clash with Real Madrid. Ederson accompanies Kyle Walker (hamstring) and Nathan Ake (knock) on the sidelines.

Stefan Ortega will deputise for Ederson between the sticks, with Manchester City lining up in a 4-1-4-1 formation in front of him against Crystal Palace. Rico Lewis will start as the right-back in the absence of Walker, with the youngster accompanying Manuel Akanji, Ruben Dias, and Josko Gvardiol in the backline.

As for the midfield unit, Rodri will play as the holding midfielder, looking to pull the string from a deep-lying position. Bernardo Silva and Kevin De Bruyne will run the show in the final third, with Phil Foden and Jeremy Doku supporting Erling Haaland in the final third.

Probable Lineup (4-1-4-1): Ortega; Lewis, Akanji, Dias, Gvardiol; Rodri; Bernardo Silva, De Bruyne, Foden, Doku; Haaland

Key Stats

  • Crystal Palace came from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 with Manchester City in the reverse fixture in December. Only in 1992/93, 1994/95, and 2021/22 have they avoided defeat in both Premier League meetings with the Citizens in a season.
  • Crystal Palace have failed to score in their last four Premier League home games against Manchester City, with Luka Milivojevic in April 2019, the last Eagles player to score against them at Selhurst Park.
  • Manchester City have kept just one clean sheet in their nine most recent Premier League away games against London clubs (W5 D1 L3), although that was at Crystal Palace in March last year (1-0). They had kept a clean sheet in eight of their previous 11 visits to the capital before this run.
  • Having won just one of their first nine Premier League home games this season, Crystal Palace have now won three of their last five at Selhurst Park. They have scored exactly three goals in all four of their home league wins this season..
  • Eberechi Eze has netted five goals in eight home games for Crystal Palace in the Premier League this season; the last Englishman to score more at home in a top-flight campaign for the Eagles was Andrew Johnson with 11 in 2004/05.

Player to Watch

Erling Haaland

Embed from Getty Images

Haaland has not been at the races since returning from his long injury layoff a few weeks ago. The Norwegian international remains atop the goalscoring chart in the Premier League but does not have the numbers that do justice to his profile and history as a goal machine.

Meanwhile, Haaland has been involved in seven goals in his last six away outings for Manchester City in the Premier League, scoring four and assisting three. However, he has not scored in any of his four most recent such games, his longest run without a striker on the road in the competition. So, he will be eager to rediscover his peak form and guide Manchester City to multiple trophies.


Crystal Palace 1-3 Manchester City

The Eagles have failed to find the back of the net in their last four home Premier League games against Manchester City. However, the reigning champions do not have a good defensive record in recent away outings in London in the top flight. So, the home side might find a way past Stefan Ortega on Saturday.

However, that might only be a consolation goal, with Manchester City running rampant at Selhurst Park this weekend. Expect Erling Haaland to rediscover his scoring boots, with the away side cruising to a 3-1 win over Crystal Palace on Saturday.

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